June 22nd, 2008
04:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Tom Ridge not ruling out a VP run

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/22/art.tomridge.gi.jpg caption="Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, appearing on 'Fox News Sunday,' said he wouldn't rule out being Sen. John McCain's vice president - if asked - but would have to first discuss a policy position that sets him apart from the Arizona senator: Abortion rights.

"If he asks me, we'll have a private conversation and we'll decide whether or not we ought to tell you what we said," Ridge said.

Host Chris Wallace pressed Ridge on his pro-abortion rights views - something critics say could hurt his chances of running with McCain, who has anti-abortion positions.

So would Ridge's views conflict with his support for a McCain administration? Apparently not.

"Obviously, the vice president's job is to support once a decision is made, whether it's on social issues, economic issues or diplomatic issues, the position of the president of the United States," he said.

"But that doesn't mean that you don't share a belief that you've had your entire life. But again, those are really difficult and challenging questions when the vice president and the president disagree on a wide range of issues, but the vice president's job is to support the administration."

Ridge, the former governor of Pennslyvania, could help McCain in the state, which is in play this year. As a moderately conservative Catholic, he could aid in other states with independent voters.

Interactive: CNN's electoral map

But his position in favor of abortion rights could hurt McCain among the more conservative GOP base.

McCain voted for the Prohibit Partial Birth Abortion bill in 2003 and "yes" for Prohibiting Funds for Groups that Perform Abortions amendment in 2007. He also believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and supports the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Ridge said Sunday, though, his own views will not change - vice presidency or not.

"I've had that point of view before I got into elected office. I've had it when I served, and I have it now ... we're not a one-issue party. Never have, never will be, although it's very important to our
base. And it's very, very important to Sen. McCain."

Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle, appearing alongside Ridge, was also asked if he'd serve as Sen. Barack Obama's vice president.

Daschle quipped, "I'd say Tom Ridge would make a great V.P. candidate, Chris."

Wallace asked,"For Barack Obama?"

"No, no, no, for John McCain,"he said.

Daschle - an Obama supporter - reiterated that he is not seeking the vice presidency and hasn't talked to Obama about it.

"I don't expect to be asked. And I have no interest. .... I'm not looking for it."

Filed under: John McCain • Tom Ridge
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Tom, Boston MA

    whatever you say at whatever point will do, mr. ridge. the voters couldn't care less, LOL.

    June 22, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. George

    It will not matter who McCain picks for VP. When Obama is closely examined he will collapse. Did anyone read his book? Didn't he admit to selling dope?

    June 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Bridgette

    Isn't this the same man that came up with that ridiculous color chart for terrorism. But never gave a follow though plan on what too do if something did happen. I think this man is about as smart as a sack of rocks.

    June 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Mike

    Yep, just what McBush needs. One of Bush's inept administrators to help McBush continue the totally mismanaged war in Iraq. The selling of our jobs to China. The accumulation of a trillion dollars in debt to the Chinese. The ruined economy. The worthless dollar. The disrespect of every other nation on earth, ad infintum. God help us in this our hour of need.

    June 22, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. RB

    Tom Ridge has no credibility with the American people just like all the other bushies, except for maybe Colin Powell.

    Why were all of the republicans on Sunday's show coming across as angry, old, scared, white guys?? Don't worry fellas. Obama has white folks in his family, too. He won't screw you over.

    June 22, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. jay

    Conservative republicans for Bob Bar '08.

    June 22, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. joe

    sounds shady privet conversation. obama 08!1

    June 22, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. Michael

    As hard as John McCain tries he just can't get away from Bush and the idiots around him, of course the point is he isn't exactly trying.

    June 22, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. Tim, Hershey,PA

    While I believe Tom Ridge would make an excellent Vice President, his views on abortion would not help the more conservative base McCain needs to attract. I think Charlie Crist or Condaleeza Rice or even Colin Powell would make for a better ticket.

    McCain for President

    June 22, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. Confused

    pro-abortion? Who wrote this? No bias in the media? I've never met anyone who was pro-abortion. I've met a lot of people, including my 70 something grandmother, who are pro-choice. Many of whom, like myself, would not choose to have an abortion, but don't want to see this country go back to dangerous and deadly abortions or see anyone serve jail time for making a difficult and deeply personal decision. I think that many of the foundations of the Republican mindset, such as keeping government small, align themselves more closely with pro-choice politics than so called "pro-life" or anti-abortion, anti-choice politics.

    June 22, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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