June 22nd, 2008
04:00 PM ET
12 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. Aaron Williams

    I think that guy was born after his time, say Berlin 1935? Him and Uncle Adolf would agree on many fine points of statesmanship and sovereignty. Both were privy to protecting the 'homeland' from terrorists and communists and rounding up those illegal immigrants, undesirables and pot smokers under the guise of fighting terrorism, can you say gypsies, political dissenters, and drug addicts in German. In the last decade if we haven't marched to fascism, then we at least danced the conga line to it, with Ridge, Card, Yoo, Rice, Ashcroft, and Gonzales leading the pack. The truth hurts. I'm a history major, as Herodotus said:
    "A man calumniated is doubly injured—first by him who utters the calumny, and then by him who believes it".

    June 22, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. nate

    This is precisely why McCain is in such trouble. While the Dems may be temporarily divided over personalities (obama vs Hillary), its already beginning to heal. The Repubs however are split along beliefs and principals, call it the Huckabee/Romneys vs the Bloomberg/Hagels. Ridge would be a slam dunk but being pro-choice, he's out.

    June 22, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Citizen's

    Not to mention we see Tom Ridge as an part of the Bush Family anyway. So please Mc Cain , please choose Ridge that will surely increase the lead Obama has as reported by News Week .

    June 22, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Loretta from California

    Thank you Senator Clinton for being such an inspiration to so many.

    June 22, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. No Hillary Gore VP

    Private conversation and then decide whether to tell what they said now don't that sound familiar for last 7 + years ,is his opinion on this private if he is picked as VP for Mc Looser ??

    June 22, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Rob indetroit

    Tom ridge another example of bush's bad judgement if republicans care about small govement then why don't they do away with home land security We dont need it.

    June 22, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Walt, Belton,TX

    Ridge would make a very capable Vice President!

    June 22, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. EBC

    Pleeeez, John Ridges is nothing more than a Bush Croonie. He's not worth a penny of usefulness. Homeland Security was nothing more than a complete joke. Are we any safer? What has Homeland done that has made YOU safer? All Homeland did was make more of Bush's croonies RICHER and GREEDIER!!! Okay? Okay.

    June 22, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Pat from NC

    As a Pennsylvanian, I can truly testify that as a senator, as a governor, and as head of homeland security, Mr. Ridge did almost nothing. He won elections on looks and smiles, but can't answer a question straight or look you in the eye when speaking to you. If McCain is foolish enough to ask him, the Obama landslide will be even bigger than expected.

    June 22, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. McSameMcCain on myspace

    To bad Tom Ridge's mom didn't believe in abortion rights and exercise that right.

    June 22, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Tom Dawson

    Well, all the Bushie failures and incompetents are certainly rising to the surface – at least the ones that aren't under indictment or in jail.

    June 22, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. No More McSame!

    IT dont Matter who is McSame VP.
    He lost his "BID" when he Represent a Third Term Bush!
    No economic plans
    No end of the War in sight (meanwhile Iraq prime minister was seen hugging n kissing the Iranian President) Straight Dis to the US!
    No plans for help at the pumps – only some cosmetic offshore drilling that will not get gas to the pumps for another 10 yrs!
    A woman's right to choose will be taken away!
    McCain was recently discovered taking money from a Texan who said "when rape is inevitable a woman should just lay back and enjoy it" How can a woman vote for that!?!?!!

    Now Hillary will be stumping with Sen Obama on Fri!
    Whats your "EXCUSE" now Blue Collar Workrs/Women?
    What weak excuse will you use to cover up the "REAL" bigotry reason – let me guess: Hillary should be made VP? A sense of 'entitlement' again I see!
    I dont think so!
    Who ever Sen Obama picks for VP will be BEST suited for that position!
    I trust his judgement – It hasn't been wrong thus !!!

    June 22, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Blake, Boston

    This really isn't what we need. There's no way we could get away with running two white guys regardless of qualifications. It's just the reality of this election.

    June 22, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Gary

    Your comments are too harsh. Tom Ridge has never projected himself as being alert enough to do any real damage or good for the country. Besides, he presided over the establishment of the Homeland Security color code threat system. If he is the VP it will be code "blue" for the GOP.

    June 22, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Charlotte

    Tom Ridge,the guy with the deer in the headlight look ..I must comment on another blog..Kevin, on another post. Loved your post turtle story. May I borrow it? It fits Obama to a tee. I had never heard it before, and find it hillar-ious. I remember the Robin Williams movie, Man of the Year, where he accidently wins the election. Didn't have the foggest idea what to do. Obama fits that mold, also that movie is where Obama got the, "we are not red states, we are not blue states, we are the United States." I got to admit it has a nice ring to it. Obama, is a POST TURTLE! I will write Hillary Clinton on my ballot in November, watsted or not my conscience will be clear.

    June 22, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Ray from CA

    He had High postions, that is what someone is going to want but, McCain doesn't need that cause he has loads of expierince according to him so if he doesand he picks this guy im going to laugh

    Obama 08

    June 22, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. NoMcSame

    What do you expect from McSame,McBush,McCrook,McLoser,McLimpD,McFool,McGreedy,McYellowteeth,McFreak,McWarmonger,McBonehead.
    Obama08

    June 22, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. curtis

    His stance on abortion rights may hurt him with the radical right but his tenure as Homeland Security Secretary hurts him with everyone else. Of course one could expect some growing pains as the department got organized, but it is still a farce all these years later. The country is not safer. Civil liberties and basic human rights are routinely ignored and the residents of the Gulf Coast are STILL waiting for an adequate response to Hurricane Katrina.

    And that is if you are able to forget for a minute that he is one of Bushes more eager lapdogs.

    June 22, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Unbelievable

    You people are so darn bitter about not being able to put up canidates who have a chance that you will slam anyone.

    Gore, is/was wimpy.

    Kerry, is/was a turncoat.

    June 22, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Brian, PA

    As someone who was able to observe Tom Ridge for a long time as Governor of PA, I can tell you that McCain could certainly do a lot worse than Tom Ridge. He's capable and moderate with his own set of views. To lump him in with the incompetence of the Bush administration is unfair. Let me be clear, I'm still avidly supporting Obama but I think you all at least be fair to the man.

    June 22, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Chris K

    Dear Ed, No one is pro-abortion. It is a horrible thing to have to face. They are pro-choice however. A big difference.

    Mc Cain would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. What's next? Maybe we should suspend Habeaus Corpus or maybe the first ammendment... As long as we all keep wearing our flag pins things will be OK though. That's the ticket.

    A vote for the Republican party is a vote for tyrany.

    June 22, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. matt

    Mccains list of potential VPs is basically Bush's old cabinet.
    Why would Mccain want the same people that were to inept for bush?

    June 22, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Collin

    Tom Ridge would do well. People say we don't need homeland security because nothing has happened since. The fail to understand that nothing has happened because Homeland Security has stopped many things and they don't go around telling people what they prevented.

    June 22, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. Marc PDX

    Ridge is too ho-hum for VP. Competent, but not exciting...

    June 22, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. mike

    please take you privet conversation and leave us alone we dont want mccain anyways. Obama 08

    June 22, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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