August 19th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain planning VP surprise?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ridge and Lieberman campaigned for McCain in Pennsylvania last week."](CNN) - Republican sources tell CNN that John McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and senior advisor Charlie Black have been calling activists to sound out the pros and cons of several possible running mates – including former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, a choice that could spark major discontent from the conservative base.

Several campaign officials say they do not believe a final decision has been made – though two sources say McCain may have already decided, and told only Davis. One party insider tells CNN that Davis has called several state party chairs indicating Ridge will be the Republican vice presidential pick this cycle – although it is possible that Christian conservatives may be playing up the former governor’s chances in an effort to raise alarm and prematurely kill off his candidacy.

Several conservative activists say they know McCain’s campaign manager has been warned of possible dire consequences for the Arizona senator’s presidential bid at the convention and beyond if he picks a candidate who supports abortion rights.

"If he picks Ridge, the convention blows up, you will have a base completely demoralized,” said one activist. “And it will be viewed that he is ceding the future of the GOP to a liberal Republican. It would be a disaster."

But the same activist also says McCain is unlikely to make that move, pointing to comments by the presumptive Republican nominee that he would most likely have an anti-abortion running mate, and remarks this weekend that he would have a "pro-life" presidency.

Filed under: Joe Lieberman • John McCain • Tom Ridge
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. Tex

    For every harcore right winger who "blows up" in the convention hall, there will be 1,000 moderate and independent voters around the country who will rally around the Maverick.

    August 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. George Raposa

    I would like to Know who Joe Lieberman thinks that he is!!! Too me he is a nobody

    August 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Dan

    I can't believe the drama surrounding the VP has lasted this long. I'm surprised no one has said enough already, end the long pageantry contest and begin addressing the issues Americans are waiting for, like economy, energy crisis, who's "winning" the war, etc.
    If Mccain becomes Pres. he will be pro-life, but continue the war. It's alright though, he can go to church and be forgiven.

    August 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Brent J.

    Ahhhh, liberal tolerance. I love it.

    August 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. RSB

    Watching McCain throughout this campaign it's obvious he can't or won't think for himself. He waits for Obama to make a move and then he attacks. It wouldn't surprise me if he names a Democrat and a pro-choice VP – Obama will. McCain seems a little desparate at times.

    August 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Mickey, NY

    Don't tell me!! Bozo the Clown!

    August 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. John in Ohio

    Its long been said about the Republicans, and its always been true; the Republican care about life in the womb and stop caring about it once its out. The Republicans are against abortions... and food stamps, and school lunches, and funding schools, and health care for children...

    August 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Repub

    Figures - the only ones commenting are Democrats.

    August 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. beevee

    For all I care he can his poodle Lieberman.

    August 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Yankee Air Pirate

    It doesn't matter which one he chooses,he'll smoke that empty suit running with any of them.

    Obama,the perfect candidate when we become a socialist country.

    August 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |

    We must defeat these old conservative fools. Wake up people look what they have done the last 8 years. And now they have Joe Loserman on there side,thank God.

    August 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. dollorbil

    What Mc Cain does is not relevent he will not win the election. He could reincarnate Reagan and still not win. He's toast.

    August 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. for Obama

    The only "surprise" would be if he managed to pick someone who is against all the wars– but how could he ever find one in the Republican party?

    August 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Eddie

    Quit deflecting the issue you whining Liberals, your argument makes no sense. McCain wants to kill people who want to kill us, you people want to kill innocent lives that haven't been given a chance.

    August 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Confucious

    I surrendered all original thought when I gave in to Obamamania. Shame on you McSame. You will just choose a war-mongering clone of yourself.

    August 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. mary

    Better pick someone smart. McCain isn;t the brightest bulb on the tree. Check out his Naval School ranking – 894 out of 899....... Yes, experience counts. But too scared to take another chance on another Bush...

    August 19, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. People make no sense

    McWar is planning on explaining how he was dumb enough to get caught early in his military career, and spent a long war being held captive. Wow what a hero. No guns blazing – shoot your way out of anything – defend America. Just tortured spilling your guts against America. Through diplomatic means he was allowed to live. It's laughable that people consider him a hero and strong on war. He spent his time in captivity. He was flying a plane he was too dumb to know how to fly and got shot down. Maybe if he wasn't a C student he would have been able to learn the technics to manuever out of position and not get shot down. My grandfather flew endless hours fighting in the same war and he came back a *Real American Hero*.

    August 19, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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