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. Rob indetroit

    Please pick ridge and turn off conservatives.

    August 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Jeff, South Bend, IN

    Typical McCain flip-flop just like he does on every other issue. What does McCain stand for as a politician? "OBAMA IS BAD. OBAMA IS BAD." is all he can come up with. Grandpa is a total snoozer.

    August 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Ron Nebraska

    The Republican partys' mantra, since the days of their hero Ronald Reagan is that government is not the solution to the problem but that government is the problem. Why then vote a member of that party into office when their vested interest is to show that government cannot work to solve problems? It's really not a hard concept is it?

    August 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Proud army and navy mom

    Smooth move McCain. Further alienate your base. Obama is horrible, but energizing his followers and you are killing your base. Neither one of you deserves to be President.

    August 13, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. Carl29

    I am not surprise at all coming from the "double-talker express." In April he said that he would NOT pick a pro-choice candidate because he wanted someone as committed as him with the rights of the unborn. However, since the polling is not as good as his campaign would like it, McSame is reversing his stance and is now willing to bring an enemy of the unborn on his ticket. Well, Who is the flip-floper? yeah... Obama.

    August 13, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. California Gold

    There goes his religious right followers.

    No to abortion and Yes to murdering women, men and children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and calling it "collateral damage".

    August 13, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Sharon in TX

    McCain has had the stage all to himself for nearly a week. What has he said, with any significant detail, regarding his platform, his positions on foreign AND domestic policy? What is his vision for our future? I have not heard or read any coherent or comprehensive strategy or plan. What direction does he plan to take the country - other than making us "Georgians?" Seriously, will someone please enlighten me?

    August 13, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. KK

    I used to vote Republican, but they don't really care anymore about which way this country is moving. Everything is about Iraq now and no one cares about the 48,590,000 abortions since 1973! McCain is a waffler on this and so many topics.

    August 13, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. NoMcSame

    McSame is as outdated as his choice of music. OLD goat Obama is going to send you to your home Georgia so that you can fight against the Russians. McSame can pick whoever he wants but it will not held the AARP man. McSame does not kiss babies because he with his UGLY face would scare the heck out of them. He is by far the UGLIEST one to run for president. Can't wait until this is over so that his UGLY face is not on TV every day.

    August 13, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Debbie - WV

    McLOSER, McWrinkle, McSame, McOld, McBUSh, MCOIL, McDRILL, McJunkie,.....anymore?

    August 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Marcy

    What's funny to me is that McCain's prolife stance is the only reason I would vote for him over Obama. I'm pregnant with twins and it has become a real voting issue with me. I know these babies are alive within me and to abort them really would be murder(but legal!). I pretty much agree with Obama on all other issues. So I'm very torn. It's ironic that the only issue I would vote McCain on he's wavering..

    August 13, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. Scott, West Chester, OH

    McCain-Ridge would be an awesome ticket. I'm pro-life but would be happy with this choice.

    August 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. James

    This is great news.

    This will garantee a loss by McCain.

    Because if the "base" of the party votes for him with a pro choice candidate, it will prove that they DO NOT have the CORE VALUES they always proclaim. They really do just have a party affiliation (which also applies to independents who always vote repub) which is more important than any core belief.

    It will also continue to show the right, conservatives, and religeous voters that McCain has been playing them for fools al along and is counting on them "clinging" to the idiotic belief that Obama is a secret Muslim bent on the undermining and destruction of the USA and true American(white) christian values.

    August 13, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. davboz

    Regarding CNN broadcasting in general, it seems that each political story is "endorsed" by Barack Obama. Whether it is the "best" (gawd) political team's comments, the comments and dismissive laughter of the "girls" anchoring, or the actual subject matter.
    Then we have the paid-for ads in-between. All Obama.
    Big Lou is coming on now. I should get some parity here. He, appropriately, dislikes them both – as honest worthy candidates. But that is another point.
    There is no guessing necessary. The bias at CNN is NOT limited to the obvious opinion guys as it mostly is at FOX. It oozes from the "straight" news in disgusting fashion.

    August 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. DC Insider

    The anti-abortion / pro life movement is now, and always will be, moot. No House or Senate will ever introduce legislation to overturn Roe v Wade, and no sitting President would ever sign it. And do not look for the Supreme Court – no matter how right leaning – to ever entertain hearing a case that could overturn it. So this flash point campaign issue is for show only and has no legs,

    August 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. Peter

    Ridge isnt goin to be the running mate

    August 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Hannah Stevens

    McCain is not for women. He is against women's right to choose and against equal pay for women. When the vote came up in the senate he didn't vote on it but said he would have voted against it. McCain is living back in the 20th Century.

    August 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Carl

    If McCain picks a pro-choice VP, he can kiss the oval office good-bye. The religious right will have nothing to do with him.

    August 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Phillip Bunn , Bailey NC

    John McCain and Tom Ridge – it's too bad Laurel and Hardy are not available. Maybe they can introduce the "Duct Tape" administration.

    August 13, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Observer

    Oh, so it's OK to demonize Obama for his stand on abortion, but not your buddy? I hope McCain does choose Ridge as his VP. It's a sure way for him to lose the election. The conservative base won't buy into Ridge, and Independents won't vote for him since he was in Bush's cabinet and is still a loyal Bushie.
    Please choose Tom Ridge, McCain! Or Lieberman! Another sure way to lose! Or even Lindsey Graham! Wow! So many ways to lose!

    August 13, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. Arizona Official

    Bad luck for the McBush campaign that will continue on using the same failed and corrupt policy of the current adiminstration. No difference at all. America wake up while you still can...

    August 13, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. matter what!

    Oh great! I guess the greatest foul up in history, FEMA's (Ridge's resume') handling of Katrina, doesn't mean anything anymore?

    If that's how he handles emergencies, I don't want his second in command to being the president of the United States of America!

    Besides, just look at how he ate up his state's surplus when he was governor! Well, I guess for a Repugnant, he's as good as it'll get!

    August 13, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. RB

    There you go McSame. Pick another Bushie for your campaign. Experience obviously hasn't taught you how to NOT do what your failing predecessor did!! Hey, why not pick Rumsfeld for SecDef?!

    August 13, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Chris

    John McCain: please pick a pro-choice Republican or Independent. That is one sure way of costing yourself millions of votes.

    Obama '08

    August 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. Sherry, Atlanta


    August 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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