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. Peter of Oregon

    My friends, amidst all this talk by McCain about stepping across the aisle we have seen absolutely no evidence of this during this campaign.

    Let me give you some straight talk. McCain's talk about bi-partisanship is all talk, much like his committing to run a respectful campaign focused on the issues.

    He's like Two Face from the recent Dark Knight blockbuster with his standing in the polls as the coin he flips and flops to decide how best to win the Presidency.

    August 13, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Wale

    He has no business being president anayway. He is unfit to serve, he is often confuse himself, flipflop on issues manytimes. But i hope people won't go to the polls in the absence of their brain this time.

    August 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Scottsbluff

    I think a moderate as a vp is a smart choice. both are Nam Vets which is my background, and a break from the conservitives is also a great sign. Now I'm listening McCain, just remember, its the Economy Buddy, not just Iraq. We are looking for a mainstream centrist. Obama, well he is to cocky for me it has become evident that he feels who else would choose. Guess what Barack your not the only girl at the dance so to speak..........

    August 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. anoymous

    McCain is an idiot. He can't even pronounce the president of Georgia's name correctly and he has experience! What a joke?

    August 13, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. EBC

    Gee, is there anything this OLD FART hasn't flipped-flopped on? I can't keep track of his blunders anymore. I don't think he can either, I mean even his Aides have restricted his phone usage AFRAID he might talk out the side of his neck again! ha! ha! Wow... like that has stopped the old geezer!! NOT.

    I can't even stomach looking at the man, he ALWAYS looks like he's seriously constipated! Must be painful for someone his age!

    August 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  6. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    I hope that John McCain is very happy now with ALL OF THE ATTENTION THE MEDIA IS DIRECTING HIS WAY.........Courtesy BARACK OBAMA..............

    I only wish that CNN would start exposing McCAIN'S OUTRIGHT LIES, MISSPEAKS, AND OTHER DAILY GAFFES..........I don't think
    I will be holding my breath hoping for this to happen. I really do not understand the HOLD THAT JOHN McCAIN HAS ON THE MEDIA!


    August 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    Senator, the pill is still in my throat. So help me God, if you pick Ridge, Leiberman or ANY other wishy-washy candidate on the sanctity of human life issue, I, along with MILLIONS of conservatives in this country will spit that pill out.

    Please Sir, respectfully, don't be stupid and quit talking as such! Abortion is a matter of life vs. death and there can not be a compromise. You will be toast in November should this be the case.

    August 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. KEYA

    he is wooing Hillary voters.
    But the best sign coming out of this is the hope that any McCain administration would protect Roe vs. Wade.

    good to know.

    August 13, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. Yupik1

    Of course McCain would be open to Ridge....McCain needs to maintain his consistency on being a flip-flopper.

    August 13, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. nganenu

    John McBush,
    Will you shut up? Nobody wants another war. Not after your alter ego Bush ruin the reputation of the country to stop inertvention in foreign land. What does a US president expect from other president after invading a country? What do American expect from other leaders after their own have shown no respect to sovereign nations. Spat in the air you will receive your mess on your face. Bushed Macbush.
    Obama 08

    August 13, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. DK in PA

    Of course the different stance doesn't matter. Fact of the matter is that Tom Ridge is from a swing state and everyone knows that John McCain won't hesitate to compromise his "morals" and/or "ethics" to get elected............ Just another flip flop?

    August 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |

    This is interesting, but it's not going to happen.

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

    August 13, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  13. Brian, Quad Cities

    That'd be the last piece. The only folks McCain't hasn't driven away yet are the wackos. Looks like they're next.

    August 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. Pseudo-Intellectual

    McCain shouldn't let the protestant conservatives high jack his choice of a Vice-President. It seems like he is running away from Romney again. I would accept Joe Lieberman as a Vice-President but not Tommy Thompson. Romney and Lieberman have values and families that people actually respect which could help McCain. Turn around artists and people who "reinvent" their families are suspect in my opinion. If you can't govern and support your own household, good luck with the Free World!

    August 13, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. Obama supporter:White, 60 year old woman

    If you want a chuckle go to Huffington Post" and read "RNC Stalks Obama in Hawaii".

    August 13, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  16. Larry

    Let's face it, this is about as diverse as he can go.

    Obama 08

    August 13, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. John in WV

    flip-flop...flip-flop....OBAMA'S GONNA CLEAN YOUR CLOCK !

    August 13, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Pam, Long Beach, CA

    Of course he would want women to go back to the good old days of illegal abortions. Women WILL have abortions for any number of reasons (and it's not an easy decision to make) and all the anti-choice people are doing is condemning them to filth and death. How easy it is for a man to make that decision. If men got pregnant, abortion wouldn't even be an issue. URGGG

    August 13, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. Bud, TN

    He's old. His idea of diversity is he wears a blue suit, and his VP wears a grey one. LOL

    August 13, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  20. Frank Lee

    Better get Joe Lieberman unglued from your butt before you choose color-code alert inventor Tom Ridge.

    John, you are apathetic individual.

    August 13, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. Scott

    LOL. Neither comment has anything to do with the article. Copy and paste... copy and paste those negative comments on every McCain article.

    August 13, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Obama fans are so insecure.

    NObama 08

    August 13, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  23. Paul from Texas

    McBush has to ask Cheney first who he can pick for VP. McBush will most likely pick the person that will help him the least. One thing right about this story is McBush appears not one to like discussing anything but fear.

    August 13, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. McOld

    Old politics are not going to work in this 21 century. so ALOHA.

    August 13, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  25. Another "intellect" for Obama

    Only for for McCain to get press today? Oh wait...its a way for CNN to CREATE press for McCain today? Hopefully those ad clicks will pick up...

    August 13, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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