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. Mia and Mike

    We are very proud Independents and have voted for both Democrat and Republican (moreso) candidates in local, state and federal elections in the past. This time, our hearts and minds are in synch with Barack Obama at the moment, and we fully expect to vote for him in the Fall. I am baffled though with how in the world Tom Ridges can be at all considered for the GOP VP??? I think anyone closely related to the Bush administration 911 positioning would be a liability to the Republican leaning independents. And what's with the statement about revealing or not revealing the contents of a hypothetical meeting?! We don't want the Bush/Chencey secretive and deceitful administration all over again!

    The only thing I want Tom Rigde to discuss with John McCain is a good dentist so that he (McCain) can get his teeth cleaned and whitened.

    June 22, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Matt

    Tom Ridge is VP choice! He has sooo much experience: military. house of rep, governor of penn, and secretary of homeland security. He can help win the swing state of Penn. What all McCain has to say is: "I'm pro-life, and that's what all that matters. The fact that my running mate is pro-choice is irrelevent."

    June 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Rob

    Tom Ridge is from my home town of Erie, PA...he was very popular in Pennsylvania when he was governor. I hope he is not picked, as it would increase the work Obama needs to do in Pennsylvania to carry it. Right now, Pennsylvania is Obama's to lose, but with Ridge on the ticket, it may put Pennsylvania in McCain's pocket...

    June 22, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Hillocrat, Ohio

    I think Ridge is the second best choice behind Mitt Romney.

    June 22, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. E. Elliott, Orlando, FL

    He is one of the less objectionable Rebuplicans. And I have to agee that Homeland Security is a joke. Try protection for the ports and our borders, but that migh cost money they could otherwise funnel to their oil lobby owners. Drill Drill Drill, all they know, direct from the oil barons. WE have to move to be secure and have energy now, not 20 years and a trillion $ down the road, if the country lasts that long.

    June 22, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. AMW

    VP for McCain??????? Don't care. We need to find the best one for Obama. Of course, most of us who voted in the primaries want someone to nominate Senator Clinton for the Presidential run instead of endorsing Obama. In which case, who would be a good VP for Hillary Clinton. I say Senator Biden.

    June 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Scott M

    It doesn't matter because McCain won't win anyways.

    June 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I think, as an Obama supporter, that Ridge would help McCain in some ways. BUT, I think the social conservatives would not vote him and instead look to to Bob Barr.
    Oh, and he'd help put more pressure on Obama in Pennsylvania.

    Tough call, but I think McCain has to energize the far right if he wants to keep the contest competitive.
    Just an opinion from the center.

    June 22, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. ANGIE

    ridge would make a horrible vp i live in pa and when he was govenor he did nothing

    June 22, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. makeeazymoneytoday.com

    This is a joke right? if McCain wants to distance himself from Bush the last thing he should be thinking about doing is picking a VP candidate from Bush's cabinet and the last person he should be thinking about is the Homeland Security guy what about COndelezza Rice she would be the best choice if McCain HAD to pick someone from the Bush Administration.


    June 22, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. TJ

    That will be a for sure losing ticket. Go ahead McCain.

    June 22, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Yale University

    Are we any safer? We haven't been attacked since 9/11, thank you very much. The point is that Homeland Security has done its job. As a Pennsylvanian, I believe Ridge would be an excellent VP choice. He did an amazing job as governor of Pennsylvania. He is a moderate Republican, similar to McCain, and would be a good complement even though he is pro-choice (another reason why I like him). I believe Ridge would be able to help court both Republicans as well as Independents. Vote McCain!

    June 22, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. Democratic is the way!

    Please think and vote "Democratic" – We are spending billions of dollars on a war. - We own other countries trillions of dollars. -

    We are losing jobs, losing homes... gas is sky high and because of that war we are losing lives.

    Since Bush, we are losing a lot...– now with the floods, which will cost billions. Now food will go up.

    This is not about whom you like or dislike - this is about the Democrats winning... Save the USA or we will be the new 3rd world.
    Please do not vote McSame.

    June 22, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Jukes

    Whatever, the two of them are as about as exciting as wax paper and a nail file.


    June 22, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Brian

    good job at catching Bin Laden........ Dead or Alive.... hahahhhahahha

    June 22, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Rob indetroit

    conservative stands for big govement,war nation building and taking away americans rights. enough said straight demacratic ticket 08.

    June 22, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Slim Pickin's

    He was my Governor for quite a while as a Pennsylvanian, but it is going to make me reconsider my vote. McCain-Anybody '08 won't be getting it.

    June 22, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. TheTruthHurts

    Whatever. No chance. McCain doesn't need that type of VP. He's got to get someone respectable on the economy and ready to take over the country on that basis.

    June 22, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Rob indetroit

    Gov. Rendale will deliver Pennslyvania. Tom ridge will deliver john mccain some BenGay.

    June 22, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. Chut Pata

    Tom Ridge as VP would finally stamp McBush as McSame! Nothing more.

    June 22, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Peter

    Ridge has the knowledge to smack McSame and say "The Economy is in trouble!!!" but McSame listening to the song "I love Bush" on his ipod all day long, so he wont listen

    June 22, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Janet WV for Obama

    The blind leading the blind!

    June 22, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. JK

    Yeah another one the conservatives will LOVE!!!!!!!!!!

    He is pro choice.

    June 22, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Ridge, with Ashcroft and Cheney,
    comprise the most intractable of
    stuffed shirts this nation has to offer.

    June 22, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. diziz31

    One Word for MCCain – Run –

    Ridge allowed companies (that are not bonded) access to individual personal info (SSN,DOB,DL,) etc., via credit card accounts Shame Ridge you'll be remembered for the increase of identity theft incidents. Same with CA Gov and their special interest with companies. There's money in crime.

    June 22, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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