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. Vivienne

    I hope he picks Ridge. Obama will certainly pick off the social conservatives if he does. Although Barack is for a womans right to choose, he is going to make enrodes with social conservatives because when they are up close and personal with him, there is no way to deny his christianity and love for god. Go McCain! Hand those christians to Barack Obama.


    August 14, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  2. Jeff

    Who says that pro-life is not a popular position in this country? Reading comments on CNN is not a good indication of public opinion. Abortion is immoral in almost every circumstance. That is a baby in there no matter how you try to spin it. It is indeed a sad statement when the majority of people simply don't care about preserving human life.

    August 14, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  3. Robert

    Sadly, John McCain has become a man completely without principles. He will do whatever it is he thinks will get him elected. McCain has said that the only cure for presidential ambition is embalming fluid – a comment that is both surprisingly witty and frighteningly revealing.

    August 14, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  4. Reality Check

    It works. Pull a Clinton and ignore your base. They will see McCain as the lesser of two evils. The center is what McCain is good at and its what America wants.

    August 14, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  5. patrick mo

    micheal I think anyone who votes for Obama is not seeing the full picture. Your good buddy Obama spent nearly 1 billion dollars on earmarks in what little time he was in the senate... and people still want to ignore real issues and believe he will promise them this unrealistic future of change... I think some people are just spellbound and haven't a clue why they are voting for a flip flopper Obama... Obama is for change alright, he changes often.

    August 14, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  6. bob in LA

    the only real shock from McCain is if the personis not elegible for Social Security

    August 14, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  7. myth buster

    McCain needs Huckabee, but if he insists on putting a Pennsylvanian on the ticket, Tom Ridge won't cut it- it has to be Sen. Santorum.

    August 14, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  8. Anonymous ForTruth

    John McWar says "I would rather lose an election than lose a war". With the Georgian crises and his shooting from the hip, he is definitely for "starting a war to win an election". What a hypocrite!!

    August 14, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |

    to; FORMER DEMOCRATE, What is your reason for leaveing the democratic Party? Might it be the way the rest of the world loves and respects us, so much,or because our economy is it the crapper, Or perhaps its the loss of jobs , homes and young lifes in a war that is not only wrong but, illegal. Are these events over the past 8 years has pissed you off enough that you went repulican? Or could it be the color of our nominees skin. Me thinks I've hit the nail on the head. What is so Honorable about McCain? You want honerable- Obama is that and more. He is willing to stick his neck out for people like you to be our President. and give of himself and his family. He is a brave man. A blackman running for President in this county is not self serving. task. it is a honorble one. And I not sure we as a nation, are wise enough to grasp this.

    August 14, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  10. tony



    August 14, 2008 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  11. David

    As they stand together, John McCain looks like a smaller, older, less virile, more diminished version of Tom Ridge.

    Picking Ridge as VP would be just one more reminder that
    McCain I = Bush III

    August 14, 2008 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  12. TC

    Tom Ridge was not good for Pennsylvania so what makes anyone think he would be a good choice for VP.

    August 14, 2008 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  13. Chris from NY

    No matter who he picks, he is still going to lose the election.

    August 14, 2008 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  14. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    Wrong choice. He needs an army General.He wants to be a President of war.But with the war in Georgia where his aids are lobbists he has cowardly resorted to diplomacy which has never been in his playbook.
    Talking hard against the Russians is not equal to BOMB,BOMB,BOMB RUSSIA.

    August 14, 2008 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  15. Richard in Atlanta

    Who cares what the Right Wing of the conservative party thinks – they're the people who brought us the wonderful George W. see the wonderful shape we're in now....

    August 14, 2008 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  16. Scott, West Chester, OH

    Why do you keep deleting my posts and instead publish nasty, empty-headed, immature comments? Someone needs to monitor the moderator.

    August 14, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  17. Bitter in Texas

    ...right on SamSunny...who knows what Jonnie Boy stands for??? I'm watching the Olympics until Sen. Obama gets back from his vacation...then I'll watch the Dem's Convention...can't we call the vote before November, I've had enough of McStupid already.

    August 14, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  18. K&L

    Good choice John McCain. We are behind you all t he way. President Bush gets persecuted for something that happened when he became President. Everyone has forgotten about 9/11. Imagine the MESS we would be in if Al Gore was President. We would be speaking muslim.

    August 14, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  19. John R.

    The worst thing this country could do right now is elect an unintelligent politico like Obama right now.

    Even the democrats are showing their desperation because they know he is not a viable candidate.

    I'm sure when Obama loses by 15% in November the libtards will all squeal 'Stolen Election' or 'Racism' or anything since that is all they seem to do, whine and cry.

    It will be a great relief when Obama's 15 minutes is up and he can go back to selling used cars on the south side of Chicago.

    August 14, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  20. BWM

    It would appear that McCain and the author of the book about Obama could be sued for false, misleading statements. I can't believe someone would actually read such garbage, especially something that isn't factual. Why hasn't someone written about McCain's infidelity and all the king's men who have disgraced the White House? Obama is as pure as the driven snow and all those racist out there want something to stick, but nothing has and nothing will and I know this is mind boggling.

    August 14, 2008 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  21. TRUTH in Pennsylvania

    CNN, please do not believe that Tom Ridge is at ALL popular in this state. It's quite the opposite. He very unliked.

    August 14, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  22. Another Poster

    Does this EXPERIENCE = not knowing the difference between a Sunni and a Shehad? Is this the experience everyone is frothing @ the mouth about. Seems this most experienced military man should at the very least KNOW the differences between a Sunni and a Shehad, esp. when he is doing a lot of finger pointing at some things which anyone might consider much more trivial.

    You tell me what McCain knows.
    What's in a name, John McCain... He speaks towards the middle. enjoy.

    August 14, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  23. bestest

    Wow... I'm going back to Fox News were there is some intelligent debate!! What a bunch of cry baby obamakins!! I lived in Pennsylvania when Ridge was Governor he wasn't that bad, I'm back in Ohio, and I can tell you Obama DOES NOT have a chance here no matter what the polls say.

    August 14, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  24. BWM

    The only way McSane will get my vote is if he promises me my 40 acres and a mule. But then he will flip-flop on that too just to get the African American vote. Maybe he doesn't flip flop. Perhaps he doesn't remember what he says from one day to the next.

    August 14, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  25. Judgement over experience

    Thanks Mccain, you just lost the race as you just lost your conservative base. BTW what do you stand for? Also Tom Ridge used to be governor of my state and we were glad to get rid of him.

    August 14, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
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