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. Tel It Like It Is

    Duct tape
    Plastic wrap for windows
    Air filtration masks
    Color coded threats
    FIASCO track record
    Waste of tax payer dollars to proliferate BUREAUCRACY
    Remember the Homeland Security Convention in HAWAII


    All the integrity of a bowl full of toliet water


    August 11, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Grandma

    You media/puma/republicans guys don't get it do you? This is a campaign paid for and sponsored by ordinary Americans so Obama is answerable to us first before the media; and that is how Obama will rule the country a government OF the people, FOR the people and BY the American people. GET USED TO IT
    McSame could care less about American jobs, so long as the war machine keeps humming. McWar only wants investment in war, death and destruction. McCain does not have anything to say even on his add. We know him always crying about media attention and when he has it he talk about Obama. Media putting Obama under microscope and they can not find anything and now all I see McCain TV add for free in all the stations. McCain is follower and Obama is the leader. He had all week to talk about energy and all he said all the above is my plan he never give any $ or brake down on his plan he said “ALL THE ABOVE “he means Obama plans, More McLies by omission. Please ask him what his plans are about the war he just says we need to win just like a child not just like a leader. Senator Obama is a leader young like Kennedy and Celebrity like Ragan. But McBush promised a campaign of integrity.
    Surely we can trust McCain to be honest with us and keep his promises.

    August 11, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Jason

    Wake me when this geriatric festival that McCain is on is over please. This man is way too old to be president. HIS lack of experience will prove itself soon. There are 2 and only 2 qualifications to be President.. Age 35+ and have been born in the United States.. Anything else than that is a plus but not a requirement, although the Repubs will make you think otherwise!! He is a Washington insider, has lots of lobbyists running his campaign. McCain like all republicans will choose another old white guy to serve as his running mate.. Republicans think that women should stay home and do the job of a woman and not have a voice. Republican'ts make me sick. McCain will start WW3 he has already said he wants to bomb Iran. Doing just that will start WW3. McCain is all about war and more war. Sure he has plans. Plans to keep troops occupying Iraq for 50-100 years.. Drilling will not ease our oil obsession, it will take 3-5 years before that oil would reach America.. By then, gas prices will be $6/gallon..

    About the color coded alerts. Doesn't yellow mean chicken? scared? yellow-bellied? .. Tom Ridge is a doofus and is a yes man for Bush. If America votes McCain in as President, I'm renouncing my citizenship!!

    Native Arizonan against McCain!! Anti-Puma

    August 11, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. anyomous

    no rommey for vp

    August 11, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Cindy

    I don't care. Tom Ridge? Mitt Romney? Same ol same ol. Both results will be the same.

    So Mr. Rove, political analysis, please. Are these not political choices as well? Boring news week... and it's only just started. Bring back Obama please.

    August 11, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Michelle, PA

    As a PA voter, I can tell you choosing Ridge is NOT the way to win PA. The man may still be popular in his hometown of Erie, but that region is already strongly Republican. Otherwise, his years as Homeland Security Secretary in the Bush Administration allowed him to fail publicly and spectacularly in raising the security level for American ports, nuclear plants, borders, chemical facilities, food supply and on and on and on. If McCain is smart, he will choose somebody who hasn't been a mediocre lackey of the failed Bush Administration.

    August 11, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Frank Lee

    Aw, jeez. Is this a code red alert, or what? Ridge?

    McCain must be nuts

    August 11, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Ryan

    How exciting! I, for one, plan to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape to celebrate!

    August 11, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. susie

    The mainstream media has been conning the public since the primaries. To bad we can't fire them all! Most middle age and older Americans don't have computers, again, Obama is just too elite for them.
    Also, needs to be the American flag and take off his logo on tail of his plane. He's running for President of USA not of the World!

    August 11, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. My Friends, let me tell you

    Tom Ridge will be in my cabinet and he will scare you daily just to make sure your not sleeping at night.

    August 11, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. PA resident

    How pathetic! What about someone who actually cares about the people, I could care less about his homeland security! I need security with being able to keep my job, to get a salary that keeps up with rising cost of gas and food, to pay my mortgage and medical expenses. What about that type of security? Does the republican party even understand that? I live in PA, my state is in need of help and jobs now!

    August 11, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Tony

    Tom Ridge was as complicit as everyone else in Bush's administration. We don't need anymore liars in positions of power.

    August 11, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. ED FL

    The old war monger Mccain needs a phoney like Ridge to hold him together with his duct tape and also let the old man know what color [color code] is in effect so he can hide. The people of Pensylvania are smart enogh to make sure that the old war monger will not get elected.

    August 11, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. McCain Proves Himself Never to Be Ready

    Duct tape, breathing masks, color coded fear level & Don't forget this is the man that told us to make an emergency kit – because there was a good chance we'd have large evacuations of our cities, possibly never to return.

    McFear & Fear Ridge – Let's don't go there. There is a better option with Obama.

    August 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Keith, PA

    McCain is such a dork. He can't seem to get two sentences out without making a gaffe. His advisors probably didn't want him to share the fact Ridge is not under consideration for VP but when McCain says he'll "call Tom Ridge to Washington" in his first 90 days it's pretty obvious there aren't any plans to make Ridge VP.

    August 11, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. dennis from chicago

    CONSIDERING o bama's voting record in the SENATE 138 times PRESENT.....i hope he doesn't forget to text message himself so he doesn't forget to vote for MC CAIN///// MC CAIN wants tom ridge to help him win penn. NOT BE HIS VICE PRESIDENT CHOICE it is that simple

    August 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Steve - WY

    Ridge would be great, except: most Americans know only know that he is the creator of the silly color coded threat level system. He also is pro-choice. And he also is a close tie to Bush. Get rid of those problems and he's the pick!

    August 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Democrat who was going to swing my vote

    Tom Ridge? Is that a JOKE???
    I was going to vote for McCain but not if he runs with that stupid idiot.
    What did he do for Homeland Security besides spending billions of dollars and making me take my shoes off all the time?!!!!

    August 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Warren

    Who cares who McCain picks? He has these attack ads but what is he going to do for the American people but make the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Obama has my vote 100%

    August 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Bill, Atlanta

    Once again, McCain proves to us that he has no new ideas. Tom Ridge, the former and incompetent Secretary of DHS? what a joke. Proof-postitive that McCain intends to carry on with the neo-con morons who almost destroyed this country. Too bad for him that he doesn't have a chance in November.

    August 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Jose'

    I wonder if he will text everyone when the race is over and he wishes President McCain good luck?

    August 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Michael

    Only the anti-abortion religious fundamentalist fringe of the Republican party really cares all that much about the issue of choice.

    August 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    I think the ONLY thing Tom Ridge brings to the table is Pennsylvania. He does not attract moderates (Patriot Act) or social conservatives (abortion). He does not help McCain in any way, other than maybe McCain is hoping to make a play for PA.

    August 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Tom Ridge, the man who gave us plastic sheets and duct tape as the first line of defense against terrorist attack.

    Tom, "If it's Tuesday, it must be Orange" Ridge.

    August 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Tom Ridge's job at DHS was to run to the microphone anytime Bush was in trouble and spout, "We don't know who, when or where, but they're out there!!!"

    "Be afraid, verrrrryyyy afraid!!!!!!!"

    August 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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