August 20th, 2008
07:14 PM ET
14 years ago

Not just the media pressing for veep secrets

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Voters in New Mexico grilled McCain about his VP choice Wednesday. "]

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (CNN) - John McCain may have expected immigration to be the hot topic in this New Mexico community, less than 50 miles from the border.

But curiosity over the vice presidential search is as high here as in the media. At a town hall Wednesday, one of the very first questioners asked McCain, " I heard a rumor that you're going to pick a pro-life VP, is that true?"

The presumptive GOP nominee gave his usual answer about the campaign still going through the process of picking the vice presidential nominee while emphasizing his prolife credentials.

"I respect the views of others but I also happen to believe that the noblest words ever written, in history, were those that said, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all of us are created equal, and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he said. Then he added to applause from the audience," I think that life applies to those that are not born as well as those that are born."

Being a man that can’t pass up a joke, McCain gave his favorite response about the grave responsibilities the vice president faces.

"The Vice President of the US really only has two duties when you think about it," he said. "One, in case there is a tie vote in the Senate, he or she comes to the floor of the Senate and casts the tie breaking vote. That’s the constitutional duty. The other duty of the vice president is to inquire daily of the health of the president. So, that will obviously make my pick very important."

That answer didn’t seem to placate certain Republicans in the room. Later in the town hall a man told McCain that he had alienated a great deal of conservatives and asked him if he was going to pick a VP that would rally the conservative base.

"Well sir, may I say at least according to the polling data that we have we are doing very well with our base," he said. "We have a lot more work to do to energize our base. We also have to energize our base that cares a lot about our lack of fiscal responsibility who are very angry. We're also gonna have to energize our base that cares about this nations security, when we look at the many challenges we face are probably very significant. I will nominate a person to be VP, my running mate, who shares my principles, my values and my priorities and that's the best that I can tell you."

This was not an unappreciative McCain crowd, however. The senator’s evaluation of his performance at Saturday’s forum with Pastor Rick Warren drew a warm response from the audience.

"Saturday night I had the opportunity at least got to respond to the same questions that Senator Obama had and I think that the American people have made a judgment on that," said McCain to loud applause.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Eileen from Maine

    Some conservatives were less impressed by McCain’s performance. Bob Enyart, a director of Colorado Right to Life, called McCain’s anti-abortion statements “a stunning contradiction to his entire political career,” and criticized the presumptive GOP nominee for failing to support Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker’s proposed Life at Conception Act, which would attempt to extend legal protection to prenatal life.

    “Either he had a heartfelt conversion on Saturday, or this is more manipulative electioneering,” Enyart said.”

    August 20, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  2. Dan

    Mccain is waiting for Obama to pick first, that way he can use a counter-pick strategy. For instance... what if Obama picks Madeline Albright? Then Mccain ca get away with asking Hillary Clinton, or Colin Powell to run with them!
    Powell and Clinton would have been hypothetically waiting for Obama to ask them, but would turn on a dime for fulfilling aspirations!
    It's a waiting game folks... don't be surprised if the person Obama is supposed to court in Springfield is a set-up for Mccain to choose a real Veep. It's a strategy beyond our comprehension.

    August 20, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. nan

    HILLARY is the "One We Have Been Waiting For!"

    August 20, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |


    August 20, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. Pierre

    At least Obama did not have to cheat

    August 20, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |

    God bless John McCain., He will take very good care of this beloved country.

    August 20, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  7. Franky

    To be honest, this may seem the most interesting VP pick. I'm telling you, Conservatives are gonna do whatever the hell they are going to do...they don't play around! LOL!!!!

    August 20, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. gop, no ideas, only smears

    McCain's statement, of course, makes no logical sense. Why should a wife-dumper, tell a woman, whether she can have an abortion?
    McCain is for government intrusion into the most private of decisions.

    August 20, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. lovable liberal

    At a political meeting tonight, this question: Why is the media so obsessed with the vice presidential selections?

    If political activists don't care, why do reporters? It's an easy and endlessly repeated, usually content-free story.

    August 20, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  10. aware

    Obama does not have the intestinal fortitude or humility to pick the one candidate, Hillary, who could invigorate his dying Democratic campaign. Michelle would probably say no even if he did. 🙁

    McCain did crush the equivocating, obfuscating Obama at the Rick Warren Forum, and he has several very good VP choices!

    McCain 08 and Hillary 2012! 🙂

    August 20, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. Barbara - NC

    Yes – Barack Obama – President Barack Obama !!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Barbara - NC

    "Saturday night I had the opportunity at least got to respond to the same questions that Senator Obama had and I think that the American people have made a judgment on that," said McCain to loud applause.

    HA – it's the only time in his life he hasn't stuttered, mumbled, and "vetoed every beer" in his life.

    He's a joke. He's a warmonger. He wants the draft !!! Male/Female drafted.

    August 20, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Barbara - NC

    At least Joe Lieberman knows the factions in Iraq. McCain needed to be reminded after he mis-spoke.

    McCain wants to be president so "........we will never have to go to war for oil again......" (of course, he forgot to mention the wars he will start with Iran and RUSSIA before that.

    August 20, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. Copperfield

    CNN, why dont you talk about how he answered that women's question about a draft?

    He clearly said he'd agree with a military DRAFT, isn't that MAJOR news?

    August 20, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  15. Dave from Gainesville

    You know what he didn't say? He didn't say, "My choice for VP will be as anti-abortion as I am."

    August 20, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  16. Crush Rush

    Yea John, you tell them,you want them born so they can get drafted to fight your future wars.

    August 20, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. Dosteovsky

    I think that applies to the prunes I eat daily.

    He makes no sense.

    August 20, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  18. Obama all the way

    Yes McCheater you knew the audience there was stacked and the leak to you with the questions "Oh no one would ever notice what you and Warren had going "but you slipped as you don't answer a fallowing question without being asked unless you know its coming/even the preacher did not know how to cover that up .
    Liars always get caught sooner or later.

    August 20, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. The Weatherman

    No lip service here. He goes straight to the point.

    August 20, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  20. Turn The Page

    I don't think McCain's choice of VP is such great mystery or secret. It's Mitt "Attack Dog" Romey. Romey will be a younger verson of Cheney but with less power. Mitt's sole role will be attacking Obama while McCain runs around looking innocent.

    August 20, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  21. Carl from MI

    Go for the Pro-Choice VP, McCain... go for Lieberman or Ridge. Be the Maverick you claim to be!! Give the Republican Party the proverbial middle finger!!

    Also, congrats on cheating at the Rick Warren interview!!! We all understand that since you're the senior citizen in the race... you need every advantage that you can get just to keep up. Special thanks to Rick for giving him that advantage and then lying for him. That's what Jesus would have done...

    August 20, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  22. Edward

    McCain has quite a dilemma. Pick a moderate, pro-choice VP and try to win over moderate independents that he needs for the election. Or, pick another conservative VP and keep his base happy. I suspect that he'll do the former after seeing the Democratic Convention's success.

    August 20, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |