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. Raymond Duke

    You know I really hate to vote for this Idiot. But if i don't the other idiot might accidently win and being a black liberation socialist with questionable ties to domestic terriost what do you do. This man needs to be monitored continually as with his opponent. He needs just to sit back and let the real republicans run his canidacy.

    August 13, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. Will, NJ

    Mr. "Protect our Family Values" goes astray? No kidding.

    August 13, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  3. Denise Groves

    It does not matter. He is still anti-abortion and will attempt to overturn Roe vs Wade

    August 13, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  4. Jim Rau

    I wrote a letter to John McCain as soon as he was the Republican nominee that he should choose John Kasich for his Vice President and told him that if he did he would win in Ohio. And go on to win the election in Nov. I beleive that more than ever today.

    August 13, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  5. Charlotte

    DNC=Dumb Nuts Committee
    I love the way the Obama-bots call for party unity and want a republican as VP? Get real you mindless fans, the party is democrat, not repubacat? Who will run for President, God Forbid, if Obama should win the election and serve his term? The incumbent would be a Republican. I cannot believe Obama would pick a republican as VP and expect any kind of party unity in November. His fans are pretty crazy, but I can't believe they could be that stupid. Maybe they are as dumb as I first thought they were. Whomever McCain picks as VP is, without a doubt, a hairs breath away from the Presidency. The party expects Hillary to be so loyal to the party, but Obama can pick a republican as VP, go figure. I will write Hillary on my ballot in November….

    August 13, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  6. Allen S

    Seriously, what does McCain stand for? Tom Ridge undercuts mccain's entire message. Not to mention Ridge served as Secretary of Homeland Security under the Bush, which could expose him to stinging criticism from the MSM and the dems. McCain will probably go with Gov Pawlenty or Gov. Christ.

    August 13, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. PG

    Panamanian McCain will say anything and do anything to have the blind folk vote for him.

    August 13, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  8. Steve

    Tom Ridge should be remembered as the Homeland Security Secretary who adjusted alert levels in 2004 for partisan political reasons.

    August 13, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  9. Mark C, Atlanta GA

    Ridge would further alienate the GOP right wing, while bringing McSame's anti-choice views to the attention of a lot of swing voters who aren't even aware of them.

    August 13, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  10. Howie in the Kingdom of Oz

    Personally, I'd just love to see Mr McCain pick Jeb Bush as his running mate. That'd show his true colours!

    August 13, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  11. Anti-Obama living in NY

    Every time one of you guys hears Obama's name you literary start touching yourself, I guess the cult of personality around him is just that strong.

    August 13, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  12. Ryan - Tampa, Flordia

    How boring would McCainRidge be anyways. Compared to McCainRomney, it would be like watching PBS's Jim Lehrer to Rush Limbaugh.

    McCain can't afford to lob softballs, he has to throw rocks. And I think he will even if it tarnishes his career:

    "In The 21st Century Nations Don't Invade Other Nations," – John McCain. Never mind the blatant hypocrisy behind his most recent sound bite, more of this is sure to come.

    August 13, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  13. Mr. Independent

    McCain should select Condoleezza Rice. Black, female, intelligent. Everything the Democrats say they seek in a candidate. And it would be difficult for them to label her as an Uncle Tom like they usually try with any black that supports other than Liberal beliefs. If anything were to happen to McCain, you could trust her to be tough with the likes of Russia, Iran, China, Korea, etc. She has had plenty of experience dealing with them already. She sure has more experience and intelligence than Obama.

    August 13, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  14. Former Republican

    John McCain cheated on his paraplegic wife, and called his current wife the C word. Now that’s family values. My young kids have such a dim future due to republican leadership. Thanks McCain!

    August 13, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  15. Edward

    The Republicans have pandered to the extreme position of life beginning at conception and therefore have the plank to eliminate Roe-Vs.-Wade. I guess it makes sense that McCain would pander to those who don't agree by suggesting these guys as possible VP's despite their pro-choice views.

    Hell will freeze over first.

    August 13, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  16. Jeffrey Allen Miller NY

    So, perhaps McCain and Mr. "Orange, Yellow Duct Tape" could be the ticket. Interesting choice. Ridge left his cushy Bush appointment to make more money. Ridge couldn't even manage the Dpt. of Homeland Security on budget so he failed at that job. He didn't do so hot at Home Depot either. Why would anyone want Ridge involved unless this is nothing more than more of the same good old boys joining hands?

    August 13, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  17. Ll

    Yea, choose this guy so Dobson will look like a bigger hypocrite than he currently does. Let him have to explain to his followers why they should vote for a man who has a pro-choice running mate, whose wife traffics beer, who has been adulterous... if he can get them to take a break from praying for it to rain on a man who actually IS a Christian and dose not mind saying so and talking about it! Family Values.

    August 13, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  18. Jenny

    Mccain is open to a pro choice VP - don't think the conservatives will buy it thought

    August 13, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  19. Conservative

    Does McCain even remember what party he is representing? Who voted for this guy in the primaries? I'm really disappointed

    August 13, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  20. gwt301

    Ridge seemed totally uncomfortable serving as "attack dog" in a national interview yesterday. He barely said much more than he feels Obama isn't ready to be president. Funny since his lasting legacy as Homeland Security Director was the color coded BS...oops terror code. And didn't he quit that post because he said he needed to make more money? $200,000 a year wasn't enough for him but Obama is the elitist?

    Moreover, he was handpicked by Bush. Not a good choice for McCain if he wants to separate himself from the current administration. This just works into Obama's mantra of "same OLD politics."

    August 13, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  21. nola

    I know who should be his running mate – J. Lieberman – a perfect pair

    August 13, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. Cal Dipkin

    A vote for McBush is throwing your vote away!

    Are people in this country going to be as stupid as they were when
    they voted in Dubya, not only once, but twice!! Come on America,
    throw those Republican bums out!! Le's take back our country!!!

    August 14, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  23. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I'd love to get a post in. Really, I don't understand how I send sensible, non-attacking posts, even first out the box, and yet my post disappear.
    For example, on this topic, I dropped a post at 6:39. The first post showing is at 7:17. I don't get it.
    Having said that, thomas the tank engine at 9:02,
    I think this would be a HUGE gamble by McCain. If he really thinks Ridge alone would help swing a 5-7 point deficit in Penn, I can understand that. But without an ironclad guarantee (which I don't think is possible given the Gov. – Ed Rendell, a Senator in Bob Casey, and the mayors of the two largest cities in Philly and Pittsburgh are Democrats), I think he shoots himself in the foot with too many evangelicals leaving him short in too many states.

    In my opinion, it's win Penn or BUST.

    Course, Ridge would, from the Bush administration, could help once again with Homeland Security and reinstate those color-coded warnings? That sure was a success. 😉

    August 14, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  24. Herman in LA

    This country is going to hell, do you people not read to know what is going on? Where are all the women this is about a women right to chose.

    Wake up America and stop sleeping.

    August 14, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  25. bluebird

    He'll get a bunch of democrates to vote for him with this choice. He's got mine.

    August 14, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
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