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. anoymous

    Cindy McCain's arm in a sling fue to shaking hands?what a lie! Maybe she has reverted back to her old past . Who is acting presidential now? I'm so sick of this word. EXPERIENCE! What experience does he have with the exception of living longer than Obama. Why won't he talk about his life in Vietnam? Why is he so uncomfortable about talking about his religion? McCain is not who he professes to be. I think he will be worse than Bush,simply because he is a bigger idiot.

    August 13, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. Phil from Va

    McShame.... pick another war monger.

    August 13, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. Tyranie

    Anyone else notice his hand is shopped? >.> <.< What exactly were they hidin?

    August 13, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Bill

    I'll gladly sit back and watch Tom Ridge (try to) go against Joe Biden any day of the week. Can't wait!

    August 13, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. GOP Supporter

    Ridge or Lieberman would definitely help McCain get votes. If McCain couldn't finish his term for whatever reason, Ridge would be the better choice to succeed because of his Homeland Security knowledge. Experience will and should rule.

    August 13, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. Mad

    At least he is working with issues instead of giving some speech...

    August 13, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. TC

    Why has nobody yet mentioned that McCain was having an affair with his present wife while still married to his ex-wife? I certainly don't expect McCain to choose a running mate that supports womens' rights. He also states that he knows how to win wars when, in fact, he spent his war time experience as a prisoner of war!

    August 13, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. omar

    i cant stomach campbell brown anymore. that right-wing airhead should just move to fox news. she just wont stop talikng smack about obama,trying to sir up controversy. please campbell do us all a favor and take your "objective" crap somewhere else

    August 13, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. linda from South Dakota

    as i said before,, mccain does things to his advantage,, doesnt mean its the best choice,, he just wants the focus on him,,,, whether its a good thing or bad and usually its a bad thing.. i cant and wont vote for someone who does this, its wrong and not the american way. he still does things like bush and im not for that . my vote still goes for obama!!!!08 and beyond

    August 13, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. Xango

    oh old mcsame, blah blah blah

    August 13, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |

    @Ralph V. AZ

    Are you kidding me? Obama threw his reverend under the bus after he realized in the polls it would be political suicide to continue to defend him. Weeks earlier he said he could not disown Wright.

    Give me a break...McCain has had the same ideals and policies since before we was campaigning for the nomination. Go check his record. At least he has a record...

    August 13, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. Patti

    former democrat:
    John M is a decent man? Came back from Vietnam to a wife who was crippled from a car accident. Met Cindy, had an affair, divorced his wife; divorce finalized in April; married Cindy in a full-blown "white" wedding in May 1970.


    August 13, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. ree

    Your right dkawaii. People vote on issues not VP choices. So, it does not matter who Obama picks or who Sen. McCain picks. People will vote for who they think has the experience to run the country.

    Obama the same attitude that Bush had, no experience like Bush had, thinks he knows everything like Bush does.

    August 13, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. J. Sweeney, Drexel Hill PA

    I think the polling in PA will show that Ridge has lost much of his appeal in the Commonwealth. His color coding concept as Secretary of Homeland Security was silly at best. While his public recommendation to use duct tape and plastic to seal your house reportedly resulted in one man asphyxiating himself.

    There are far too many clips of him drumming up outdated and discredited terror threats during the frenzy leading to Iraq. The ads tying McCain and Ridge to the Bush war drumbeat would pound away...

    August 13, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. Lefty

    The only surprise would be if mcCain picked someone who insisted on taking the high road instead of the Swift Boat slime road.

    McShame marches on to defeat. Doesn't matter who he picks.

    August 13, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. anoymous

    I always knew there were racist out there, but I had no idea that people were so blatanly so until I became a political junkie. Obama has inspired me to become involved in the political process and it is sad that there are so many black haters. I thought we as Americans had somewhat overcome this issue about race. Of course, you have those who will always be ignorant and uneducated. However, there are those who are educated and still considered racist. If anyone should be a racist, it should be us (BLACKS) who never got ou 40 acres and a mule.

    August 13, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Georgette, Imperial Beach, CA

    Who cares who he picks? 82 days until he's buring in the Obama landslide anyway.

    August 13, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. chris

    dkawaii. . . "irregardless" is not a word. It should be "regardless."

    August 13, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. William, from Cali!

    I'm pro-life, does that mean that I have a chance, too? This Election will come down over McCain's positions on "other more important issues"; rather than this issue of pro-life, alone. I like Tom Ridge, but I think "the Republican ticket" is doomed; whomever is selected as a running mate for McCain.......

    August 13, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Rick in Az

    It really doesn't matter who McCinsane picks as his VP... He's missed 63 percent of Senate votes.. Way to represent your home state McNo Show. Surge in Iraq. Surge on the Economy. Surge on Drilling. Now he's having a surge on his VP pick. Next McCain-iac will want to have a surge on Russia. Maybe he would do better having a surge on representing his state better in the senate. After all even the people in McExperiences home state are suffering the same problems as the rest of the country .

    August 13, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. J.C.

    When I visited PA during Governor Ridge's administration, I could sense optimism from young people in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, last visit in 2007 gave me a very different impression. Young college graduates just want to get out of PA and one said doctors are leaving PA as well.

    I believe Governor Ridge will make a effective VP and president.
    His extensive executive experience will be a wonderful compliment to Senator McCain.

    August 13, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. PWNED

    Two words: LOO-ZER.

    August 13, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. Texas

    McCain will be the next President of the USA. If he is not the president, then we should ALL be ashamed of picking someone with so little experience and way too many questionable ethics in his past and present (and of course future) of the likes of Junior Senator Obama. The USA has no business selecting Obama in these difficult times we are facing. I could not stand Hillary either, however at least I could sleep at night had she be running and the democrats won.

    August 13, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. cj

    McShame pick another war monger. Is this all the libs have?

    August 13, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    McCain needs to expain his role in the Keating 5 scandal, why he had an affair to marry into money, why fellow POWs in Vietnam call him "songbird", and why he has flip flopped on EVERY key "stand" he has taken. This "war hero" thing has been milked past the last drop long ago.

    August 13, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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