August 19th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain planning VP surprise?

Ridge and Lieberman campaigned for McCain in Pennsylvania last week.

Ridge and Lieberman campaigned for McCain in Pennsylvania last week.

(CNN) - Republican sources tell CNN that John McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and senior advisor Charlie Black have been calling activists to sound out the pros and cons of several possible running mates – including former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, a choice that could spark major discontent from the conservative base.

Several campaign officials say they do not believe a final decision has been made – though two sources say McCain may have already decided, and told only Davis. One party insider tells CNN that Davis has called several state party chairs indicating Ridge will be the Republican vice presidential pick this cycle – although it is possible that Christian conservatives may be playing up the former governor’s chances in an effort to raise alarm and prematurely kill off his candidacy.

Several conservative activists say they know McCain’s campaign manager has been warned of possible dire consequences for the Arizona senator’s presidential bid at the convention and beyond if he picks a candidate who supports abortion rights.

"If he picks Ridge, the convention blows up, you will have a base completely demoralized,” said one activist. “And it will be viewed that he is ceding the future of the GOP to a liberal Republican. It would be a disaster."

But the same activist also says McCain is unlikely to make that move, pointing to comments by the presumptive Republican nominee that he would most likely have an anti-abortion running mate, and remarks this weekend that he would have a "pro-life" presidency.

Filed under: Joe Lieberman • John McCain • Tom Ridge
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. a war against a tactic?

    please please please pick Lieberman or Romney it will be awesome to see them implode

    August 19, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Gene

    Didn't Charley Black say he was going to distance himself from the campaign? Or was it the Republican base that said he was shameful and should distance himself from the campaign? I remember it was one of them....

    It doesn't matter who he picks... McCain will lose this year. Jack Cafferty (SP) just wrote a great article on McCain... something I've been saying for months... which will make all the McCain supporters mad. Unfortunately for them... everything he says in that article is not only true, but backed up by examples of fact. I'm surprised that article hasn't been placed on the ticker. I applaud you Jack!

    August 19, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Mark from Naperville, IL

    He should pick Leiberman to reward him for whispering the correct answers to him on his overseas campaign trips.

    August 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. bill p

    The left wing loons who profess tolerance, change, diversity, etc. are incredibly cruel, fascist and spout the typical whining mantra of warmonger, Haliberton, McCrook, McFrankenstein! McCain is gaining, thats why the venom. When Obamas' political obituary is written in November this ilk will be jumping out windows in despair. Not to worry about the fall ,as the windows are in their parents basement!!

    "John Wayne" McCain is taking "the Suit" to school !

    August 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Steve

    How can a man who has showed up for Senate Votes only 5 days this year and a record of 63.8% Not Voting in entire 110th Congress be elected President. This is the type of man who is running for President under the Republican banner. I am ashamed to say I have voted 100% Republican in the past.

    August 19, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Ron

    Johnnie Johnnie Johnnie.... nobody cares.... If you were really pro life you would pull out the troops. You talk like someone who would not be bothered by how many lives are lost in WAR.

    August 19, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Pamela

    Obama has no substance, He will lose, it doesn't matter who McCain picks. I hope Hillary takes a way the nomination at the convention! Now that would be sweet! NO OBAMA

    August 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Mike from CA.

    What is this country coming to when the major criteria for Presiden/VP is whether they are pro-choice or not. What a joke of priorities.

    August 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Mike

    Reading the comments on these boards really leads me to believe that education should be the number one priority for this next president. Otherwise I see a sad future ahead of us.

    August 19, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Beleaguered

    Democrats want a dream ticket, that would be it.

    August 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. vb

    Its going to be another Dick Cheney type politician

    August 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Democrat for McCain

    McCain will be our next president. Obama can get the experience he needs after about 8 more years in the Senate-then I would vote for him. But now McC is too strong, tough and decisive....Obama looks too much like Gore and Kerry-thoughtful, longwinded, elitist....all the things that lost them the elections of recent past, and made blue collar and middle American voters feel they could'nt relate to them.
    John, Framingham MA

    August 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Filipina

    Who cares just retire now.

    August 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. bob

    why is lieberman tagged in this article.

    August 19, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Chicago Architect

    Please remember the last time America elected a president they would feel great having a beer with…8 years of despair and decline, not to mention 7 years of war.

    McCain makes it sound so great, how he "suffered" in Vietnam, even if other supporting facts say otherwise (Google Songbird McCain).

    The only hit Obama has in my opinion is his pro-choice stance, which is mainly party based. McCain recently said that he would be open to a VP who is pro-choice. So this essentially makes them the same in this issue. All the other issues are clearly in Obama's favor so please see McCain for what he really is, an extension of Bush's current administration.

    America, please don't buy into whatever McCain's selling, or else Its Bush all over agian.

    August 19, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Latinos for Obama


    August 19, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. well well now

    we are in so much trouble if McCain wins

    August 19, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. PA for Obama

    Get this, sports fans – there is NOTHING pro-life about torture, war-mongering and gun-trafficking. NOTHING whatsoever. Give me a break!

    August 19, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. KISS

    McCain is weak on the economy and often speaks fondly of Meg Whitman on this topic.

    Plus, he's trying to siphon off women from the Democratic campaign.

    John can't work with Mitchell Romney... too much bad blood from the primary ... and John holds a GRUDGE.

    August 19, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Hawk Texas


    August 19, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Chad, Wisco

    Glad to see that it is still possible to have a nice thoughtout discussion. Oh wait, this is a CNN message board. My bad.

    August 19, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. Realistic

    It's been said many times and I" say it again, the Obama cult represents some of the most nasty crude people ever. They have no respect for anyone and come November I'll be looking forward to telling them "GET OVER IT!" Your candidate lost and because he ran too early he will not be able to ever run again. And, most especially, you – the Obama cult – have damaged his chances in this election cycle with your hate and disrespect!

    August 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. leslie

    I see the no brained Obama supporters are out spouting their immaturity again. Shouldn't they be out getting another tattoo, or having some body part pierced? MCCain needs to stop listening to the people that are saying you need to suck up to the radical right. Most people are in the middle. The crazed so called religious right, are going to vote Republican, period. He doesn't need to work for those votes, what alternative do they have? I mean they can't have lowly women making their own decisions about their own bodies, can they? McCain pick someone in the middle if you want to win.

    August 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. James

    The only vialble surprise would be Ron Paul, Ridge or Libermann would not shock me at all.

    August 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. April Garlow

    This war was only possible because of the Democrats signing the resolution to go to war. They had the chance to prevent the war but chose to send our children off to kill and be killed, as a political gesture of bipartisanship.Just ask Obama's right hand man Daschle,-he stated exactly that when he was on the morning talk show circuit ,trying to convince the American people what a great thing it was.The Democrats aren't anti-war.

    August 19, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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