August 14th, 2008
07:43 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain open to picking pro-choice Veep


McCain said Ridge's support of abortion rights does not rule him out as VP

(CNN) - John McCain has a message for those who believe former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge's support of abortion rights effectively rules him out for the VP spot on the Republican presidential ticket:

Not so fast.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who remains suspect in the eyes of many social conservatives, told the Weekly Standard Wednesday Ridge’s pro-choice stance does not necessarily mean he isn't being considered for the No.2 spot.

"I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party," McCain told the magazine. "And I also feel that–and I'm not trying to equivocate here–that Americans want us to work together. You know, Tom Ridge is one of the great leaders and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don't think that that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out."

Ridge, a veteran of the Vietnam War who remains extremely popular in his critical home state, is a close ally of McCain who campaigned with the Arizona senator during his Pennsylvania swing earlier this week.

In many ways, Ridge is an appealing choice for McCain, especially geographically. The GOP hasn't carried Pennsylvania in two decades, and a McCain win there would deal a potentially devastating blow to Obama's hopes of winning the White House. Ridge's hardscrabble upbringing may also appeal to blue-collar voters while his moderate political leanings could play well with Independents.

But the pro-choice ridge is no ideological warrior and if McCain hopes to placate economic and social conservatives, Ridge may be the wrong pick. Along those lines, Joe Lieberman - now an "independent Democrat and fervent McCain supporter who is also pro-choice - likely wouldn't fare well with many conservatives either.

McCain has a solid pro-life voting record, and he has said he thinks Roe. v. Wade should be overturned. But the issue is not one McCain appears to like discussing.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (379 Responses)
  1. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain reaches back and picks Bush's cronies. GWB, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are running McCain's campaign so don't be fooled. America was fooled in 2004 it's time to take your heads out of the sand because we are headed in the same destructive direction. Wake Up.

    August 13, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. A French ''Atlantist''

    MCCain will win this election at the center of the political scene. By picking a VP like Tome Ridge or a center right democrat , as the President Nicolas Sarkozy actually did by appointing some charismatic figures of the dying French Socialist Party, would be devastating for Obama. No doubt that John McCain will do a smart move.

    August 13, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  3. michael

    i really cant believe the American people are so so shallow as to follow in step with polls and misinformation and not reason things out for themselves but to follow the slander of this idiot who has put out a book about Obama which he himself admits is full of lies and bigotry (but guess what it on the best seller list...only in America can they raise such bigoted and racist trash to the highest acceptable levels on the New York Times Best Seller List...I really am coming to believe that Americans are truly self destructive and very, very gullible and are sadly unable to sift reality from fantasy..good luck guys the way its going Bush may just reelected for a third term anyway..I think John Lennon said it best..."give peace a chance" maybe just maybe we could for this time only substitute the word "change" for "peace"..what do you you dare?????

    August 13, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  4. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Thomas5....Birds of a feather flock together is not a very original thought either. Being an Obama fan I understand why there are many that compare him to Bush. There are very few differences between the two.

    August 13, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  5. Mike Kaplan

    McCain is anti-choice (I refuse to use the stupid and misleading term "pro life"). This is no longer a popular position in this country, so naturally McCain may try to obscure his minority position with tricks like this.

    Hopefully, the majority of Americans, who are overwhelmingly pro-choice, will not be fooled. Some people may find this appealing, as if it shows that McCain is somehow more openminded (just like he trots Joe Lieberman around, as if that shows he can work with Democrats, even though Lieberman is hardly a Democrat these days). But don't be fooled by this meaningless trick. Tom Ridge will not be making nominations to the Supreme Court. John McCain will.

    August 13, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. SamSunny

    How does anyone really know what John McCain stands for.....I honestly mean that. A month ago he would have nothing to do with a pro-choice anything. It is like that with everything he says. This week he is absolutely for this, but wait, next week he absolutely against the same thing. I have never seen anything like this man and the changes he makes continuously. I am for it, ooops, I am against it, ooops, actually I am for it.....well, maybe I am against it.

    August 13, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. Bobby Volk

    Hey John McCain, If you really want a chance to Win the presidency, Ask Condelesay Rice to be your vice-president. It's a winning ticket!!!

    August 13, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  8. sidsux

    Doesn't matter who McCain picks. He loses in a landslide. That will finally bring an end to 8 years of the worst presidency in history.

    August 13, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  9. Chris Keal

    I agreeThomas5 and Mark Trueman. I am voting for McCain because Obama is Yo Mama!!! I hope he picks Mit Romney though for his VP. That dude has the most awesome hair ever. It's like a Devo plastic hair wig! That will totally offset McCain's impotent white, wispy combover and in turn, they will win The White House. Thank you and good night!

    August 13, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. Josh

    Thomas5 you are right on the money! Libs have nothing substantive to say but little catch phrases and nicknames that slandor McCain. That is also the basis for Obama's current campaign as well (e.g. "Yes He Can" and "Change").

    ... and to you, "Another "intellect" for Obama": You were right to put "Intellect" in quotes.... Both sides continually rip on CNN for being biased to the other candidate, I suppose that would make them quite unbiased.

    August 13, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |

    Just so all you kids out there know. In the 60's when Hungary was invaded we had Hungarian youths at our High School. A priest took them in and helped these youths out. Many of them we talked with and were friends with. One of my friends has all his family shot down right in front of him and was inconsolable. He was grateful to be in our country and free. Free to sleep at night, go to school, drink "green rivers" with us and dance. They grew up to be hard working Americans. Russia is no joking matter. Communism is no joking matter. And Russia wants to rule the world AND THAT INCLUDES THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    August 13, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. Kyle

    McBush McBush, I think the better comparison is Obama and Carter, Obama and Carter...

    August 13, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. geen

    someone who supports and encourages illegal wars, supports capital punishment, supports nuclear energy is NOT pro-life! Call yourself Anti-Abortion, but under no circumstances 'pro-life' while encouraging death....

    August 13, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  14. texas DEM

    He should pick..

    rice, jindal, or a non white or non male

    if he picked hilary he would win too.

    August 13, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  15. OK in CA.

    Hey I hear the crickets. It must be 3am and the phone is ringing Barack Obama........................Obama?

    August 13, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. Rashane Kansas

    O NO MCCAIN! you still have NO chance...

    August 13, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. Tim in Canada

    The GOP will never be power again because hardline backward anti-progressive fanaticism is slowly disappearing in the world.

    August 13, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. Sue

    Make up your mind old man.

    August 13, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. KC

    John McCain doesn't like discussing anything. First of all, he risks contradicting himself yet again. He's satisfied with just spewing lies. It worked for Bush twice.

    August 13, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  20. Kaz

    Bush + Cheney = McCain. John McCain will be worst than Bush/Cheney

    August 13, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  21. Phil

    "McCain has a solid pro-life voting record"???? I don't think the fallen soldiers families or Iraqi civilians who have lost family members would agree.

    August 13, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Kierra Williams

    I agree old politics aren't current with todays society, but if he thinks they will work well together he could give it a try.

    August 13, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  23. Donkey Party

    Way to go Johnnie Mac! He's going to change his campaign slogan to "Vote for McCain, ready to lead you into World War 3 on day one"...

    August 13, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  24. Paul

    More Bush cronies in the White House? I don't think so.

    August 13, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  25. Ernie in LA

    I was just reading comments about Cindy McCains hand injury. You Demos are just plain rude an hateful. You are as screwed up as your "Lord and Saviour" Obama.

    August 13, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
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