August 11th, 2008
11:03 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain lavishes praise on prospective VP Tom Ridge

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain and Gov. Ridge took part in a National Security roundtable in January."]
ERIE, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Tom Ridge might be a long-shot in the vice presidential sweepstakes, but John McCain certainly holds him in high esteem.

The presumptive GOP nominee, who refuses to discuss the vetting process for potential running mates, heaped praise on his friend and adviser on Monday in Ridge’s hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania.

At one point, a GE employee at a brief town hall meeting here asked McCain what his plans would be for his first 90 days in office.

“Call Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he is taking and get him to work,” McCain answered, to much applause.

Selecting Ridge, a Catholic and former two-term governor of Pennsylvania, could boost McCain’s chances in this swing state. But Ridge also supports abortion rights, a factor that would likely turn off segments of the Republican base.

McCain said he was “honored” to know Ridge, “who had every opportunity after he graduated from Harvard not to go to Vietnam. He could have found a doctor that would have a given a cert that he bad a bad knee. But instead he went and decided to serve his country during the Vietnam War.

“He came back here to Erie and he decided to be a prosecutor, and then he decided to seek a role, a seat in congress and then of course as governor,” McCain continued. That’s the kind of people this part of America produces. I’m proud to be in his company.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Bill, Covington

    bob in L.A.

    My thoughts exactly. They (news media) can't get anything right where the Republican party is concerned. They are all so tingley and excited by the thought of the negro-caucasian candidate that they loose sight of all things real and relevant.

    August 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Brandon Tobias

    I am an independent with much more liberal views than "conservative", however I am from Harrisburg, PA and Tom Ridge was one of the best governors we have had. I have no doubt in my mind that he would do a good job and this country would be a much better place had George Bush picked him as his VP instead of the evil Cheney. Tom Ridge is a good man and a good person to have in charge, don't bash him if you don't know what your talking about. This would be a smart pick for McCain in my opinion.

    August 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Good choice McCain, picking Tom Ridge is like a kiss of death.

    August 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. karen-phoenix

    Another too old, too out dated!!!!! Lost in the past!!! AND toooo connected to Washington lobbiests!!

    August 11, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. ANGIE

    I live in pa and when Ridge was govenor he did nothing, Any way Ridge helped Bush with his fear mongering, Remember the color coded security alerts so he lied right along with bush using their fear to scare americans!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. El Paso, TX

    What's up McSame, worried about your poll numbers? Have you fallen and you can't get up?

    August 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Chris

    OMG...I hope he pick Ridge!!!
    The Democrats will have a field day with this guy in their campaign ad.

    August 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Zolesh

    Do you remember this Man Tom Ridge.He was the guy behind the 2004 fear mongering ring of the McBush Admin by crafting the weekly if not hourly color code threat level thing Bush used to scare voters in 2004 to scare voters.

    Another reminder of how McCain=BUSH and about what you get if you vote for McCain, more of the same.

    August 11, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. TheOtherSide

    Now that you've closed comments on McCain on Russia action in Georgia, i have to make it here. This mans' temper is dangerous for a POTUS. don't vote him in. he will initiate world war III.

    VP (running mate)
    He has a mental freezer he can't announce his running mate yet. he is waiting for Obama only to attack him negatively about the choice.Gobama

    August 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Ted van Tol

    As I heard McCain speek about the Russian/Georgien conflict
    I heard an old, tired man speaking words of the past. No one wil listen. It is realy sad that this man runs for the Presedency.
    The new Cheneys of the Republicans are whispering every line
    in his ear. I realy am sorry for him and I am sure that he wil be done
    even before november.
    America needs change now!

    Obama 2008

    August 11, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. McCain’s PHONY EXPRESS

    So that’s all McCain is going to do in his first 90 days? Call Tom Ridge?

    McCain’s plan sounds a lot like Bush’s plan except that he called Cheney!

    August 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Kevin

    Nice, choose the guy who created color coded Terror threat levels. The great part is since the 2004 Elections, no one has mentioned it since it occured to people that it is as much a Terrorist tool as bombs or videotaped threats.

    Hey, Mr. McCain, when can you pull out the GOP slug that latched itself to your spine and think for yourself again? I miss the John MCCain the Republicans didn't like. That guy could givE Obama a run. You? Nope, just another puppet.

    August 11, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. BudInTexas

    John McCaign campaigning with Tom Ridge – where is Cindy? She needs to be right next to him to make sure he does not do to her like he did his ex-wife.

    August 11, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    People should be paying close attention when McCain states the first thing he will do is call Tom Ridge to Washington within the first 90 days after he gets elected.

    If that doesn't prove all McCain can get for cabinet posts and adviers are George Bush cronies nothing will. Phil Gramm is all McCain has for a financial adviser so he will get to Washington before Ridge and that will quiet all you Yankee whiners.

    August 11, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Obama/Edwards '08 The perfect pair. One can't keep his mouth zipped, the other can't keep his fly zipped.

    August 11, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Bill

    Isn't Ridge one of the national security honchos spewing so much paranoid crap after 9/11?? Who wants this guy for VP?? Obama fans maybe...

    August 11, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. James

    This is ridiculous.

    There is no way the republican "base"-the religeous right – is going to turn out to support a luke warm candidate in McCain and a PROCHOICE governor in Ridge.

    This is just more meaningless fodder to attract attention and convince independents that McCain is still a Maveric. A title he gladly gave up to be the republican nominee 2years ago.

    August 11, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. mm

    You all must have forgotten what happen in Vietnam. A lot of young people died for nothing and McCain claims to be the only HERO along with the media. If McCain is elected, be ready for WORLD WAR THREE.

    August 11, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. California Gold

    That's all well and good but will McCain be able to remember his name tomorrow and what state he is from?

    August 11, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. DIZIZI31

    Tom Ridge former Dept of Homeland Security – who gave up our rights to privacy!!. WOW – let's vote this man into office. Sure let Ridge get the experience, since McCain has decided to be a lame duck only (4) years.

    August 11, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Ken

    I wonder who got the most penetration from McCain's nose: Ridge or Bush?

    August 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Dave of Oregon

    How does Tom Ridge counter anything that Obama comes up with? Ridge looks a lot like Kemp and he is all but forgotten in the '96 campaign with Dole! One would think that careful thinking regarding a vice presidential candidates would take into consideration Obama's penchant for forward thinking which McCain is not apparently doing! Slam, dunk for Obama!

    August 11, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |

    obama supporters = fools that will believe anything.

    August 11, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Batman

    Hillary, HELP!
    Tell me what to do.
    Should I write your name on the ballet?
    Should I not vote at all?
    Should I vote for McCain?
    or Should I vote for Obama?

    What would you want me to do? Give us a sign

    August 11, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |

    Oh you poor liberals!!!! you have no chance ANYTHING to try and make something out of nothing.

    Note: Tom Ridge was a popular 2 term Governor. He is just one of a few people that support Mccain. Who ever he picks will be popular and will win the election. Stop saying the GOP is stupid. Thats why the Democrats can't ever win the presidency,there stupidity and arrogance just cant seem to be put to the side.

    I sat in a room of 100 hard core Democrats in NJ AT MY JEWISH NEPHEWS WEDDING, 3 SAID THEY WERE VOTING FOR OBAMA. When the Democratic senate and congress do nothing the Republicans will be in full control again,the difference this time is John Mccain will be the President and the results will be much different!!!

    The Democratic Mayor of Linden,NJ IS ENDORSING JOHN MCCAIN!!!HOW ABOUT THAT.

    August 11, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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