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. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    McCain was born in Panama, Central America. He is Central American – NOT born in United States.

    He has been on Government Health Program since the day he was born to wealthy Navy people. Do YOU Have Health Insurance?

    Ridge is a crook – Romney – well, sleeze says it all.

    Obama '08

    August 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. mary


    We have at least one libtard declaring they will denounce their citizenship if McCain wins.

    Another couple million to go!!




    August 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. JK

    Ridge sucked as governor. Also do I have to remind people he left his job at homeland security because he was not getting paid enough. When he was making close to $200,000.

    August 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Mickie in PA

    Ridge wasn't any good as a governor, wasn't any good in homeland security and I don't see how McShame thinks he can help him win PA - I can't stand either one of them and I'm 64, white, blue collar worker in PA.

    August 11, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Brian

    Two old white men sitting around taking viagra..... wonder why they need it when women's birth control is not covered by insurance? Ridge is going to have fun on the "Straight talk express" tonight!

    August 11, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. TX for OBAMA

    I hope we outsource our Presidential Election every 4 years. Let some smart people in China and India figure out who our President should be for us. We sure seem to be doing a terrible job of it, and I am sick of being led by these Idiots that the majority of us have found for us.
    Look at this Election so far – There is no business McCain should even be this close.

    OBAMA ‘08

    August 11, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Mike T. Vaughn

    Perfect, just like McCain can't remeber from day to day, Ridge couldn't remember how to protect us as homeland security, he just recieved a check for doing nothing.

    August 11, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Mauri

    Ridge is a good person, politically and morally. But Mitt Romney is more appropriate at this time and place. His above average ability to "tell it like it is" and his experience as an executive in state government, plus achievements in economic matters are exactly what McCain needs in a Vice President. McCain's no-nonsense double capabilities in handling domestic and foreign problems vs. the pop-star qualities of his opponent are remarkable. Together, McCain and Romney make the strongest ticket to guide this country through these perilous times.

    August 11, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. blaising

    Just what this country needs...another no-neck, overweight, giblet-necked, neocon, barbeque media lovin' piglican

    McCain describing his propensity for violence, even as a youngster, saying, "At the smallest provocation I would go off into a mad frenzy, and then suddenly crash to the floor unconscious."

    Oh yeah...America needs this pig in the white house...NOT!!

    August 11, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Chris, Texas


    I just moved to TEXAS and have seen ZERO McCain bumper stickers and many many many Obama ones. Using your logic, I suppose Texas will go blue by a landslide this November! And no, I don't live in liberal-Austin.

    August 11, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To: TX for Obama:

    Keep in mind, my friend, McCain-2008 = Dole-1996; they're letting him run against the Bush Disaster.

    Remember the movie "Back To School"?

    "Hey,......Mellon,.......we need ya!"

    August 11, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Lisa M

    "After more than 22 consecutive years of public service, it is time to give personal and family matters a higher priority."

    But only for a bit

    August 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. former (R) William, New Jersey

    I cant wait for our next president to get back from vacation!

    Fight the smears!

    Obama 08!

    August 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Micheal

    Isn't this the same Tom ridge who lost an election for the US Senate in 2000? TO A DEAD MAN!!!!!

    August 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Mac Stax

    Color code my world, McBush –

    Picking Ridge raises your threat level to a very pale milky white...

    August 11, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. My Friends, let me tell you

    Im an old man from town and I will never take it off.

    August 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Reality check #1

    I don't care who he names as Veep, this exDemocrat will vote for McCain. He loves America and will protect her. After this year, and the obvious nomination "fix", I no longer trust democrats. Hillary was cheated, plain and simple.

    August 11, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. TheTruthHurts

    It might be a good idea to select Ridge, but he won't do it. He's not smart enough. He's afraid of his base. I still have questions of whether Ridge has been vetted. Despite Edwards' issues, Repubs have had a long series of scandals they should seek to avoid repeating.

    August 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. biffington, biff

    Only the republicans are so arrogant as to demonize HOPE.

    (how do you demonize the spirit of 'yes we can')

    ease.. become a republican.

    August 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. John

    “Call Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he is taking and get him to work,”

    Sounds like a real down to earth hardworking man.

    August 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. TheTruthHurts

    Pawlenty is a better choice for McCain, but it won't matter. Obama takes Virginia and Indiana then it's OVA!

    August 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Bendo

    Yo McFly in NJ, your a retard, NJ is going Dem, so whatever your rants are they are meaningless, just crawl in your hole in the arm pit of America and watch your worst nightmare become reality, a Dem in the WH! Annoy a conservative repug, vote DEMOCRATIC!

    August 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    He'd be a great choice.

    August 11, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. John

    Responding to news that Obama's VP choice would be announced by email and text message the same time that it is released to the media, McCain announced that his VP choice will be announced by carrier pigeon, cave paintings, telegraph, tin can phone, and life-alert monitors.

    August 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Michael Ray Thompson

    Hey, GOP, get off that pro-life bit. This election is too important to get bogged down in the abortion debate. We need to win in November. The abotion issue is too divisive. There are too many pro-choice voters who would not support a pro-life plank.

    August 11, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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