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. Tim

    Why are Republicans beung advised to stay away from their own convention? Why is this not top news?

    August 14, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. GARY


    August 14, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  3. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    JM should just clone himself for a VP pick...and spare parts!

    August 14, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. Michael

    Sarah Palin. A real woman, a real thinker unlike Frau Pelosi and Clinton.

    August 14, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. MD for Obama

    TO RSP:

    If you don't like the comments, then stay off the blogs and go back to work. I guess you have nothing else to do either.

    August 14, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. J Reid

    I adore Tom Ridge. He was a great governor who did so many good things for Pennsylvania, unlike our current piece of trash Slick Rendell. I would be overjoyed if this were the case and McCain were to pick Ridge. It's quite obvious, to me anyway, McCain is going to pick someone from a swing state like Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Florida as a running mate.

    August 14, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  7. Marcus Allen (No the other one)

    I'm a GOP supporter and I'm Pro Choice, we need to EXPAND choice of Roe/Wade to include the father. Since the father is legally and financially responsible under law, he should also be extended the rights of choice before the child is born and then protected by the law. That's a position that totally deflates the "Pro Choice" people's logic.

    As far as Tom, he seems like a decent guy with executive experience.

    August 14, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. Denise

    I don't know why he is bothering, he won't win.

    August 14, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. jason

    pro-choice...? is that really the best he can do?

    i mean, like it matters. If abortion were ever made illegal, the republicans may never get elected again – what else can they pretend is a big issue, and get elected based on, because they had millions of non-rich conservatives all fussy about it, instead of being stolen from on a daily basis?

    August 14, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  10. Flip Flopper

    Although i believe Obama will win, I'm really hoping that many Hillary supporters decide to back McCain.

    America cannot EXPERIMENT with our future.

    I was for Hillary...

    Now I'm for McCain.

    Proud Flip flopper

    August 14, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  11. Hillary Backer for McCain nor more

    Sorry , can't vote for a pro choice veep, that is just not going to happen.
    I wont vote at all this year if Ridge is picked!!

    August 14, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. Steve Green

    As a former Pennsylvanian, I cannot remember anything significant done by Tom Ridge as governor. In addition, he is not well liked in the state. His tenure at Homeland Security was not very well done either. His only saving grace is that he was not a Bushie and he is pro choice.

    August 14, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  13. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    Lieberman or Ridge – both great selections for ensuring a Democratic victory in November. OBAMA 08

    August 14, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  14. Brenda

    If McCain chooses someone like Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman he can kiss my vote goodbye. I've been a member of the Republican party since I turned 18 (19 yrs ago). I'm sick to death of this strategy to win as if winning was the only thing that counts. The END DOES NOT JUSTIFY the means.

    August 14, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. Bambi

    Yes, McCain doesn't like to discuss controversial issues like birth control, viagra, and roe v. wade. Let the debates begin.

    August 14, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. proud army and navy mom

    it doesn't matter who mcwar picks because he is still a loser. he is a senile old man that i lies as easily as he breathes.

    I would never entrust the safety of our troops with him or the republican party. they have proved to be inept by co-signing every thing the corrupt bush administration has said and done.

    Mccain is bush's no. 1 cheerleader

    August 14, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  17. Roe

    He has my vote now.

    August 14, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  18. Anthony DeLeone

    Simple, If it's not Romney..........I'm not voting at all

    August 14, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  19. Unshrub

    Everytime McCain wants some attention he starts talking about his VP. They kept saying they were close to picking a VP when Obama was getting all the press for his overseas trips. As soon as Obama came back home there was no more news about his VP. McCain has cried wolf one too many times.

    August 14, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  20. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    I'm sick of hearing about John McCain being tortured in Vietnam. Of course, the poor man must've been through hell. But it's as if he and the media wants to make you feel bad for him because of it, and that it makes him suitable to be president. And his cheating on his first wife with his current one doesn't look so good either. As well as his constant "us against them" mentality.

    And I'm sick of hearing about Obama's race, who the VP will be, and all of Obama's plans to open our borders and give aid to every other country with our tax dollars. And also tired of hearing about Hillary's do-or-die supporters. I've had enough of it all!!

    August 14, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  21. Follow the Big Oil Money

    The democraphics of a McCain-Ridge proposed ticket is old-school white male politics. Did I mention 'old'? It does not reflect America. But what do you expect from McCain.

    August 14, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  22. Sweetie

    Tom Ridge is an excellent choice!

    It makes me feel even better about my vote this November for Sanity!

    Obama and his sheep will loose big time.

    McCain 08

    August 14, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  23. Dr. J

    If McCain picks a pro-life VP, he can really kiss this election good-bye. John McCain is a man with a bad temper and he is a cheater. He left his first wife, who stood behind him during his capture, for Cindy. That is low down and dirty.

    Obama 08

    August 14, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. Joseph Kachovec

    if mccain picks a pro-infanticide vice-pres if off the wagon and voting for a third party candidate

    August 14, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  25. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Ohhh, McSame! Please pick Tom Ridge so we can all get nostalgic for color-coded threat alerts! We can run out and buy plastic and duct tape to watch your toxic campaign on tv...

    August 14, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
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