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. Sue in MI

    I think he will be ordered to choose Cheney, so CHENEY can have another term as President. After all, who is really running the White House-not Bush. And the big aim of the Republicans is to get into everyone's private sex lives and tell them what to do. It's a small step from wire tapping to illegal abortion, and now Bush is trying to do away with contraception as well. Geez, are we in 1840 here? But I bet Viagra stays right there on the insurance rolls as a paid Rx. Sick.

    August 14, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  2. Kevin

    Wow, I cannot believe how divisive all of you are. Posting comments like "McBush" and all of that kind of crap makes all of you look extremely childish. How about actually taking the time to talk and listen to each other rather than just shouting stupid things back and forth.

    August 14, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  3. gregg

    yes we can

    August 14, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. K of TX

    okay, more like " I'll do anything to compete in

    August 14, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. gregg

    obama i pray to you every nite,,, i want to convert,, i was told i had too

    August 14, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  6. Bendo

    oh please Mclame pick a prochoice for VP.....please prettty please with a cherri on top!!!! I cant believe he would be soooo dumb to do that....that would just hand the keys to the WH over to Obama....can christmas come early, say Nov 4th!!! wow pinch me!

    August 14, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  7. aaaaa

    lets start a war mcwar world war three

    August 14, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  8. MBFLA

    It's so sad that he cannot remember from one day to the next what his position is on anything!

    August 14, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  9. gregg


    August 14, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  10. Maria

    Nice editing...NOT!! Are these typos indicative of the journalism here? Hmmmmm

    August 14, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  11. Liberal4Obama

    The only thing McCain gets to choose is his $520 Ferragamo shoes.

    August 14, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  12. Steve

    We've drawn a line in the sand and are backing Georgia. Let's send troops and get Russia the he..... out of there.

    Go Johny, no guts no glory! Let's bomb them to vaporization.

    Your my man – 08

    August 14, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  13. Obama girl

    Former Democrat–how stupid are you....

    John McCain did nothing for this country but make an error in judgment (not the first time) that got him shot down, and he has been riding his heroism around like it's something honorable. He is despicable, and has gotten even more stupid since 2000. Voting against veterans benefits at his convenience endears him to no one, and constantly siding with that retarded chimpanzee Bush demonstrates how much of a fool he really is. He is a pandering, lying, hypocrite, he has no personality, and his speeches are excrutiatingly banal.......You can have him...the true American intelligencia are voting for the best candidate–the rest of you have a happy time in the slop with your mediocre alternative.

    August 14, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  14. Cath

    Wow, I just don't understand how people can say that Ridge is popular in PA....where in PA is he popular? Not where I live nor in Pittsburgh where I have alot of relatives....the biggest thing we know here in Harrisburg is how often Ridge was taken to the hospital for drunken accidents that he has had! God love him, he is well known for having a drinking proble, how come we are not hearing about that? Put him on the ticket as he will not bring PA to McCain.

    August 14, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  15. case

    McCain is beginning to realize that he can say or do virtually anything, including go pro-choice, place a timetable on Iraq and generally run as a Dem.. because the Republican base wont be voting for him but rather against Obama. They generally could careless about policy.

    There isn't anything McCain could say or do that would lose Miss, AL, KT, TX, GA, WV, SC. etc..

    August 14, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  16. Brooks

    There are plenty of pro-lifers in america, even some of my liberal friends. I believe this particular point of view of our future pres and vice pres are 100% immaterial to who will be a better leader for our county. I think Ridge would be one of the better choices for McCain, although I still like the young governor from LA.

    August 14, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  17. lynne

    As I recall, Bush Sr. was not stridently anti-abortion when Reagan chose him as VP. Reagan was anti-abortion, but while he agreed with the position he preferred to spend his time dealing with the Soviet Union and the fear of nuclear annihilation. It has only been since the Soviet Union collapsed that "lifestyle" issues (e.g. meddling in other people's lives) became more lockstep in each party. McCain is signaling he is willing to work with people across issues and across the aisle, just like Reagan did because it is now necessary for our country. America was for a short time the dominant superpower. As recent international events demonstrate, Russia is no longer afraid of flexing their muscles in conflicts, China is master of their economy and ours, and Iraq has depleted our military resources. Isn't it time we started to act strategically instead of indulgently? Anyone, Democrat or Republican, who sees this is the priority has my vote.

    August 14, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  18. ket

    CNN talked about Rev Wright they did not discuss the McCains we dont envade other nations in the 21st century comment or when he was asked about the Lieberman comment and how McCain avoided the reporters question. Cnn you suck. Cooper is becoming a hack for McCain its so sad to after Cooper gave such a insight on covering the Katrina mess he was considered a responsible reporter.

    August 14, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  19. RSP

    I CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THAT THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD TO BLOG ALL DAY AND NOT WORK ARE OBAMA SUPPORTERS! All I ever seem to read is 90% pro-Obama comments. They don't work, they collect money from mom and dad, or they are urban singles....but you JUST DON'T GET IT! Americans will not vote for an extremely liberal candidate like Obama. He has one year experience in the Senate. That's it. We're at war. How vapid are the Obama supporters that they trust Obama to lead our nation? They drank the Kool-aid and don't bother to look any further into Obama's qualifications. It's insane.

    August 14, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  20. Grossly Obsolete Party

    Gizzards On Parade, Geritol On Patrol, Get Off the Pot.

    McCain will drive the USA at ten miles per hour on fast lane with left blinker on.

    I don't think McCain will read this, after all he lacks computer skills which is a clear indicator he'll never understand the 21st century and it's inner workings....


    August 14, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  21. Blinded by the lie

    I think all these folks need to stay out of my Uterus and let me decide what to do with my body. With that said...We are not living in the 50's anymore...Do we need to keep debating this?????? With the younger generation voting now, I'm sure they are not going to let this fly if they want to be held in communistic bondage that the repubs are trying to keep us in, because that's how the republicans are treating us. By blowing smoke up our a–es and telling us this is America. If you want this same crap? republican the reprocussions behind it will be what you deserve...kill the country in the same pull of the lever.....

    August 14, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  22. John Ryskamp

    He'll pick Jeb Bush–and win.

    August 14, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  23. Carl from MI

    I still think he should pick Cheney... if he's going to be starting wars with Iran and Russia, Cheney will make for his best VP and WarMonger in General!!

    August 14, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  24. Christopher in Silicon Valley

    If he picks him, it shows just how much he (and the GOP) really care(s) about the pro-life issue.

    August 14, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  25. SaveTheDramaFoObamasMama

    Thomas5 – truer words were never spoken.

    Good post.

    Obama followers are fools.

    August 14, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
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