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. tiger

    Ol' McCANE
    at his finest.....

    August 13, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Paul in Dallas

    McCain has taken hypocricy to a new level: talking everywhere, giving his opinions as if he were President of the United States. Can we count the votes first Mr. Senator? Would that be all right, okay with you? Your "experience" is of little value if there is no peace in your heart. We are tired of wars and wars are all you know. Sad really.

    August 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  3. JB in Wayne, NJ

    Again the news media is touting another Veep story to make some news. Yawn. Wake me when both parties finally pick their Veep candidates. And by the way, there is no way McCain picks Ridge since the conservative base won't stand for it.

    August 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    Scientific studies with rodents show that after prolonged torture, they become irritable and show a 250% higher rate of cannabalism of their cage mates. As the rodents age, they become more and more erratic in their behavior and no longer care about the safety of the colony.

    The symptoms are already apparent in McCain.

    August 13, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. Jan Il.

    The moral issues of Abortion, Gay rights are only talking points to politicians. They will not do anything about any of these issues no matter what way you feel about them. They don't care. If voting for the issues that are in my face, The wars, food and oil cost, education, healthcare, medical reform. I will not be fooled by their talking points and neither should you.

    August 13, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  6. anoymous

    McCain wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade. How can anyone other than those whose biological clock stop ticking many moons ago nit vote for McCain? I'm sure he will get plenty of those votes.They are as angry as he and Cindy are. How dare you young people get abortions when people like the McCains want more children and are too old?

    August 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. Bill in Ct.

    I'm sick a tired of th media not covering Mcsame the way they cover Obama with the negative questions or the B.S., Mcsame has been lying, getting things wrong, foreign policies wrong, and not one of the major media has went after him like they have been going after Obama. Now Mcsame is beating the drums to go to war with Russia because him and his lobbyist buddies for Georgia told them they would back him if he fights Russia, thats why the president of Georgia said what he said today on Tv. If you idiots out here vote this Mcsame into the white house get ready to have your kids go to war for this WAR MONGER

    August 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Hank

    Here's new news from

    McCain may pick Rick Santorum as his VP to solidify his chances in winning Pennsylvania and calm down conservative Republicans.

    McCain may pick Russ Feingold from Wisconsin as his VP to show he can work with Democrats and Republicans.

    McCain may pick Joe Lieberman to pick up Jewish votes in Florida and more independent votes in the US.

    McCain may pick.....

    You get the point yet, CNN? You won't...because you'll keep doing this tomorrow.


    August 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  9. Chris in Silicon Valley

    We desperately need a strong 3rd party choice.

    August 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. Dan

    While the rest of America remains fixated on whether or not the women's volleyball team bikinis are too skimpy, and the Democrats recover about the affairs of Edwards, and Russia slowly takes over the world....
    John Mccain should take a stand, stand up for America, take the lead, and choose a V.P.

    amidst all of this chaos, now is the perfect time to choose. He ca legitimately debate Bob Barr/Root, and Ralph Nader/Gonzalez, leave Obama behind holding his hat on the Hawaii beach, and start arguing for the American people with the other presidential candidate leaders who have chosen their VPs already.

    August 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  11. Katie s Taylor

    I cant believe this racial swear re: this book written by this guy against
    obama nothing but lies trying to help mcclain Obama will still rise
    above these lies, anyone that believe this book is out of touch. mr lair
    it will not be easy to bring down a true american, Gpd bless your rotten soul.

    unnamed a Obama supporter

    August 13, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. republicans hate america

    McPhony is just not going to get my vote....period.

    August 13, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Don of Fairfax

    I've been reading these same remarks for months and have yet to see an original thought from the Obamariginals. It's no secrete the majority of you were in your high school years when 9/11 occurred . . . Mommy and Daddy shielded you from the news and your educators brainwashed you with their Socialist values. You have no understanding of what made this country great, the heritage of our forefathers and the role American society has played in developing the world. All you do is repeat empty slogans and engage in childish name calling . . . Change We Can Believe In ! Yes We Can ! McThisandThat.

    There is one thing I am positive about and that is Obama is not what we need in this day and age. He can talk about his experience all he wants, but the main difference is John McCain lived it, dealt with adversity and overcame despair . . . all in the name of America.

    That is why I am voting McCain for President and I will encourage any registered voter to do the same.

    August 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  14. Give it a Rest

    To former democrat:

    You're kidding...right? John McCain a decent man, probably. The leader of our way! Plus the only credentials Ridge has is he knew colors and how to use them to heighten fear in the past.

    August 13, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. Kim In PA

    EXCELLENT CHoice. The addition of Tom Ridge would be a deal maker for me!

    August 13, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. anoymous

    Rush Limbaugh should join me at the gym. Maybe his mouth will get smaller and his head will shrink. Usually, people with a big head have sensense, but his is apparently empty. An empty wagon makes a lot of noise.

    August 13, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  17. Copperfield

    He'd pick Hillary if it meant a win in November.

    August 13, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |

    "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."

    So, for the turncoats "if not Hillary then McCain" and so-called (meow) PUMAs....if any of you are women, how do you like that apple?


    August 13, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. JK Ashburn, VA

    Tom Ridge was a brilliant governor. He was very engaged in the day-to-day operations of the state government. He made lots of great improvements in a state that was falling further behind. He is smart and speaks well. I had the chance to meet him at a conference a few years ago and he was a very nice gentleman.

    McCain could do worse.

    August 13, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  20. Oh My

    So CNN is giving Jerome Corsi a platform to spread his lies. Unbelievable it’s no wonder they keep trying to promote Hillary Clinton as VP because with her on the ticket will almost guarantee an Obama lost

    Thank God for MSNBC/NBC and the Olympic Coverage, I hope people are more interested in Michael Phelps historic record than watching this CNN help promote lies and propaganda.


    August 13, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  21. Shiloh Everett

    So a babie's life is expendable to win Pennsylvania? Sounds hard-core pro-life to me, Johnny Boy. Make up your mind Mc Manipulator.

    August 13, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  22. Mr Grahmm

    its a no brainer. he will pick a vp thats younger than dirt. thats better than a dirty old man that still thinks he is 40 (really) . a vp that can hold his hand while he stumbles on his on words.

    a vote for McCain is a vote for Bush .
    no for another 4 years of the richer gettting rich.

    O/ 08 bettter judgement back on course

    August 13, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. A Toufique

    McCain's VP will be same old piece of whatever, Joe Liberman

    August 13, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  24. Vigla

    There is NO way McCain picks off PA. NO way... Pick Ridge, and you'll still lose.

    McCain is a joke candidate. He was selected by low turnout Republicans. I guarantee you the base is not happy and will not turn out in November...

    August 13, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  25. ex republican

    the article states that mcCANE doesnt want to talk about this issue. what issue DOES he want to talk about other than war? he sure doesnt want to talk about INFEDELITY!!!!

    Obamacon against cheaters

    August 13, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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