May 7th, 2009
01:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Ridge not running for Senate

Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced Thursday that he will not run for Senate in 2010.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced Thursday that he will not run for Senate in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – After much speculation, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge announced Thursday that he would not run for the Senate in 2010.

Ridge, a centrist Republican, had been courted by some elders in his party to seek the GOP nomination after Sen. Arlen Specter switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.

"I am enormously grateful for the confidence my party expressed in me, the encouragement and kindness of my fellow citizens in Pennsylvania and the valuable counsel I received from so many of my party colleagues," Ridge said in a statement. "The 2010 race has significant implications for my party, and that required thoughtful reflection. All of the above made my decision a difficult and deeply personal conclusion to reach."

Ridge said he will continue to stay involved in politics and added that he will help the GOP "craft solutions that both sides of the aisle can embrace."

"To those who believe that the Republican Party is facing challenges, they are right," Ridge said. "To those who believe the Democratic Party is without its own difficulties, they are wrong. No one party has a monopoly on all of the answers. The more important view, in my mind, is that we remember, whether Republican or Democrat, we are foremost Americans. And as Americans, we have always overcome challenges when we put partisanship aside and solutions first."

Filed under: Arlen Specter • Pennsylvania • Senate • Tom Ridge
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Mike in MN

    There has been much talk about the Republican party getting smaller by pushing moderates out and moving too far to the Right.

    Yet I see little evidence that there is a real split in the party. Colin Powels said that America had changed and wants bigger government and is willing to pay higher taxes for it. Polls show the opposite is true. Powell stopped being a Republican long ago when he supported Obama in favor of McCain. No Republicans support bigger government and higher taxes.

    Congressional Republicans have been voting almost 100% against the Obama,Peolsi,Reid liberal out of control spending policies. When Specter voted for the Obama spendulus bill, he was punished.
    The real party split is with the Democrats with more and more voting with the Republicans against the Obama spending. And now a group of Democrats has worked with a group of Republicans and written an alternative energy bill in oppositon to the Obama/Pelosi one. Looks to me like some Americans in congress have put partisanship aside to find solutions first in opposition to Obama's and Pelosi's partisan approach.

    And it looks like to me the Republican party has found it's conservative voice and is united. In 2010 and 2012 Republican candidates will present a united conservative contrast to the liberal Democrats. Unless more Democrats are willing to pull away from the liberal far left policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid and work with Republicans, the state of the economy and country will be wholly owned by the Democrats in 2010 and 2012. The line will be drawn between liberal vs conservative values. I'm betting on the conservatives.

    May 7, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Denise

    Poor GOP. Keep trying!

    May 7, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Larry

    Ridge didn't have a chance of winning ...

    And he knows it

    And the GOP know it

    Specter will be the winner in 2010 ... hands down ...

    There is NO competition

    May 7, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. flybyshoeing

    I don't even remember him being head of DHS. When was that and for how long? I would never vote for a Republican, but I do like the two party system. What they need is someone new to rise up. Get rid of those who are in the forefront now. They are toxic assests with no value to the American people. Until they silence all the negative rhetoric coming from the likes of Cantor, Boehner, McConnell and the rest and stop Limbaugh, they will stay in the wilderness.JMO

    May 7, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. obama/mama

    The GOP will never forgive you.....There may be a hanging.

    May 7, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. nick

    Tom Ridge isa smart and good man. His comments are accurate,and it shows he has an understanding of all our concerns.
    He also understands, that we are not yet ready to put more Republicans into our Senate. However, he is still young, and his time may come in 2016. Best of luck to you Tom.

    May 7, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Harry

    Of COURSE he's not running. He's more centrist than Specter! He's PRO-CHOICE!!

    The GOP would never want a candidate who is not an extremist. If Rush Limbaugh doesn't approve of him, HE DOES NOT RUN.

    Plus, Ridge would have a chance of winning, and under Steele, the GOP's agenda is to avoid victory at all cost.

    May 7, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. jimmy-ohio

    hmmm,,,another semi moderate republican being pushed out of the way so a fire breathing far right ultraconservative christian evangelical can run?

    May 7, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    "The more important view, in my mind, is that we remember, whether Republican or Democrat, we are foremost Americans. And as Americans, we have always overcome challenges when we put partisanship aside and solutions first." The most eloquent and thoughtful statement I have heard from a Republican in many a moon. Naturally the Limbaugh/Hannity crowd will criticize him and call him a traitor.

    May 7, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Daniel

    Sad to see this. I think the GOP needs more candidates like Ridge who are middle of the road, smart, and truly hold to their principles.

    May 7, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. shucks

    He is much more honorable and has more character than the republican party is able to muster right now on their best day. Like when Micheal Steele stated that Senator Specter flipped the republican party the bird, when he defecting to the Democratic party, Tim Ridge just flipped the Republican party the bird out of disgust.

    May 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. yuri

    Ridge is one of several darned nice guys, GOP can not affort to lose. What they can dispense with is that noxious nut job, RL, who snarls at the slightest provocation, and who does not want to know the meaning of human patience.

    May 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Shannon

    He isn't running because he has the name BUSH attached to him. Former Bush officials should be banned from politics...except for Gates.

    May 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. Taa Taa

    Sounds to me like he does not agree with the "Extreme Right" side of his party.. If you dissect his statement, he almost sounds like he wants to do a Specter... Boy The Good Old Boys (Party) are becoming less and fewer... So glad there are some republicans who don't think the way Rush, Sean, O'rielly, and Sarah think... I love it... And thanks for keeping it honest Mr. Ridge...

    May 7, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. ethan

    Go Sestak!

    May 7, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. GOP Disaster

    Yet another moderate not running for office! Keep it up with your right wing attacks Rush!

    May 7, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Chip

    Finally! A man of integrity!

    May 7, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Doug, New Jersey

    Sounds great Tom but liberal Democrats are as likely to put partisan politcs aside and work on fair solutions for all Americans as they are in the blue states to start caring about human life when they get behind the wheel of their automobiles.

    May 7, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Carlos Harrisburg PA

    Humm what are they trying to do here force him to run and hope they will gain power once again....

    May 7, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. AK

    Him not running is a win for Dem! ..... Next!

    May 7, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Gar

    Obviously the Re-smug-licans will now be asking Ridge to join the Democratic Party, since he is advocating compromise and reason over extreme idiology and just saying NO to every idea the president comes up with.

    We welcome Tom Ridge into the Democratic party. We welcome moderate ideas and reason, and a patriotic attidude that honors America over party. We welcome anyone who accepts good ideas regardless of which party came up with them. Because we want America back!

    Soon the Republican party will be reduced to Gingrich, Limbuagh, and the few hundred thousand other extremist kooks who believe in their tried and failed ideas.

    What I'd like to see is a two party system with moderate-conservative Republicans as one party and moderate-liberal Democrats as the other party.

    The extremists like Nadar and Limbaugh can then all fight it out on radio for those too bored to listen to their CDs when their driving to and from work.

    But elections will then consist of two really good intelligent candidates who can be civil to each other without any great effort, with no negative ads assaulting the other's personal life, and who can find common ground during debates that end up honoring each other, our system of governing, and America.

    Call me an optimistic patriot, but then again, that's what happens when love of country goes beyond the personal victories of a John McCain and expands out to what the vision of a great country truly looks like.

    Get rid of the vitriolic media starved egomaniacs. Bring on the smart new breed of civil (I emphasize the word "civil") servants, who care more about being statesmen than rulers of the state.

    May 7, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Lisa B

    Looks like Mr. Ridge is sending a message to his GOP friends that he just ain't that into you. Kudos for expressing your dislike for the obstructionist party Mr. Ridge. You are correct, we should all be Americans first.

    May 7, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. No more GOP!

    The Republicans have already said that there is "no room" for Moderates in the Republican Party.

    May 7, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. hab

    good point! America first!

    May 7, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |


    May 7, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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