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. Martha

    Why does CNN have this 'Ticker' ?

    All it seems to be is a bunch of whining Obama babies!

    Grow up and vote for McCain '08!

    August 14, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  2. easy rider

    I fail to understand why the "choice" issue is important to the presidency. As far as I am concerned, NO religious group has the right to tell others what to do with their bodies.

    Overturn Roe v. Wade, then let's overturn 2nd Amendment, and maybe outlaw alcohol as well, then outlaw swearing, outlaw people not of the Christian faith, just outlaw everything so that the church can have its own way.

    August 14, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  3. Robert

    Once again McCain is changing his position on an important issue by even considering Tom Ridge. Talk about a lack of judgement...DUH.

    August 14, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  4. Octogenarian

    How can anyone in their right mind vote for four more years of McBush? That just goes to tell you that rather than vote for someone who would rather have peace , they will take a chance on someone who talks the talk, but can't walk the walk. Soon, McBush won't even be able to walk the walk. Hillary saw this coming. That's why she doesn't wan Obama to win.

    August 14, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  5. Not Mitt

    Yea Ridge! Director of "Homeland Stupidity", the reason the 85 year old grandma in a wheelchair ahead of you has to try to stand up and take off her shoes ahead of you before she can fly. Maybe Ridge thinks there all Osama's mother.

    McCain pulls another one. Romney at least has run more than a couple of organization with great success and doesn't come over like some "shoot from the hip" nut case.

    August 14, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  6. Republican Mike

    I met Gov. Ridge once. What a stand up guy! Really nice, considerate. If he were the VP nomination for JM, then they just won my vote after being on the fence for so long.

    August 14, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  7. will nyc

    "In the 21st Century Countries don't invade other Countries"

    John McCain 8/12/2008

    Not covered by CNN.

    August 14, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  8. Rick in Chicago


    Nice "whining" post about the CNN Ticker and Obama supporters there!

    August 14, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  9. Jose'

    Obama has proven time and time again to be just another politician.

    He changes his position based on whatever audience he is talking to.

    He doesn't hold a solid stance on ANYTHING.

    He lies without even changing a breath.

    Obama cannot be trusted.

    Thankfully, more than half the American voters will prove their intelligence by keeping Obama out of the White House in November.

    August 14, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |

    This story about McCain being open to picking a pro-choice VP is interesting, but it's not going to happen.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.) is mostly likely going to be McCain's VP choice.

    The leaders of the Democratic Party – from the national leadership to the state party leadership – have failed us.

    August 14, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  11. H-

    Experience or a lack thereof, as a former Soldier and forever a gulfwar Veteran, I would say that as far as modern warfare my experience exceeds that of both candidates. If America really wanted to win in Iraq the Soldiers there know the answer. The surge is working oh really dummies !!!2 or 3 U.S. Soldiers to guard 1 Iraqi what do you think would be the result? So it's a lose, lose situation either more troops die or you spend more money, in any case America loses because we are reckless, just look at how we us our right to vote.

    August 14, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  12. Anne

    There should be "One-Choice." The pregnant woman's. Why do some old men politicians get to decide what a woman does with her own body???

    August 14, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  13. Toby

    It would be a wise choice. The Republicans will vote against Obama anyway, and this way he may pick up more independent voters and shore up sagging support in Pennsylvania. It might even get him his reputation of maverick back.
    But the party bosses won't allow it for fear that it might alienate the base and jeopardize a lot of local races.

    August 14, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  14. Obamacan

    Hey McBush..... Did you forget what you said back in March when you stated the you'll never consider a Pro-choice as a running mate? or can we call it a flip or a flop???

    August 14, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  15. Jim Finn

    Can hardly believe that McCain would choose Ridge for a VP candidate. As head of Homeland Security and whenever he made some sort of speech, my wife and I would look at each other and wonder how he ever made it to that position or level. Is Pennsylavnia worth sacrificing the intergrity of the VP candidate position??

    August 14, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  16. CJ

    Former Democrat,

    What sacrifices did McCain make for his country? He crashed three airplanes, got shot down in a fourth and then did his job. Being a POW is no qualification to be president...

    CNN please post

    August 14, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  17. Jon Greenier

    I was going to vote for John McCain but if he chooses Tom Ridge I will no longer support him. I will not support and endorse any man or women that would allow the murder of the innocence.

    Where have all the good statesmen gone?

    August 14, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  18. Jon Greenier

    To Easy Rider – abortion is not a religious or political issue!!! It's a moral issue!!! Murder is murder! A human being is still a human being regardless of what stage in development!!! I won't vote for a man or woman who is morally corrupt!

    August 14, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  19. Lorna, NY

    Isn't it presumtuous of McCain to be sending Leiberman to Georgia? Don't we have a president? This just shows how biased the media is. Obama goes to Germany and the media was reporting "he is already acting like the president". John McCain meddles in Georgia's affairs and the media says nothing. PLEASE, REPORT THE NEWS EQUALLY! Why is the media not hammering McCain on this? I am really sick of the media picking our presidents. Give fair reporting and let the people decide.

    August 14, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  20. Mary


    August 14, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. Doug

    Wouldn't picking Ridge just be more ammo for Obama in terms of linking McCain to Bush and McCain being Bush's 3rd term??? Sounds like an air-tight connection to me....

    August 14, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  22. RJ

    Mr McMorals...who had an affair when his first wife was crippled–can even talk about morality-takes a big set to be able to do that.

    i used to think he would be tolerable as a prez but now i'm disgusted by the idea.

    and if there truly are hillary fans who say they'll vote for him - why in god's name were you initially voting for hillary?? obviously it can't be the issues because they are so far apart on the you must have had another reason. would love to know what that was.

    August 14, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  23. Brad

    Wow! Anyone who doesn't think that the vast majority of the readers here at CNN are leftists is either blind or a fool! It amazes me how the leftist bloggers here and elsewhere constantly use name calling in their attacks on the Republican candidate. Either they incapable of debating – or simply unaware of what the issues are. By the way – I certainly hope the crisis in Georgia didn't bother Mr. Obama while he is on vacation. Apparently he only takes the 3AM call when it is convenient for him. Yea, that's who I want as my President.

    August 14, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  24. eddie

    I hope for Ms. Rice. She understands freedom, choice of many of many issues. respected by world leaders and has experience. As the V.P. she is better than any of the politicians up for votes.

    August 14, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  25. heather from florida

    No obamanation.....He a socialist!!! REad his freaking book people...if you think we are in a world of trouble, as the Cubans what they thought about Fidel before he came to power. You are all brainwashed.

    August 14, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
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