Senator McCain Rejects John Kerry’s Vice-Presidential Question

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 11, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senator McCain Rejects John Kerry’s Vice-Presidential Question

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 11, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Arizona Senator John McCain has personally rejected a question from likely Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry as to whether he would serve as his vice-presidential running mate.

According to the Associated Press, Kerry asked McCain whether or not he would consider the number two spot on the Democratic ticket, a leading Democratic official said. A second official said McCain made it clear he would not change his mind.

Kerry’s offer to become his running mate, was a non-offer the officials told AP. Kerry doesn’t want the eventual Democratic nominee to appear to be his second choice, behind McCain. As a result, Kerry didn’t offer McCain the job, but pressed the senator on whether he would consider it if offered.

Some Democrats have talked up McCain joining the ticket as a way to siphon Republican votes from President Bush. But McCain, who is heading up the president’s re-eletion campaign in Arizona, a key battleground state, has repeatedly said he is not interested.

Kerry is involved in closed-door discussions about the selection with his wife, Heinz ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz, Mary Beth Cahill, his campaign manager and former director of the pro-abortion group Emily’s List, and Washington power-broker James A. Johnson.

A representative of one leading pro-life organization told that McCain’s mostly pro-life voting record would never go over well with abortion advocacy groups.

"[Cahill] and Kate Michelman are not going to let someone with that voting record get on the ticket," the pro-life advocate said.

With McCain out of the picture, attention turns to North Carolina Senator John Edwards and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, both of whom support abortion. Both Democrats are being vetted by the Kerry campaign.

In March 2003, Edwards voted for an amendment to the partial-birth abortion ban that expressed the Senate’s support for the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortion and said the landmark ruling should not be overturned.

He also voted for the measure in 1999 and, that same year, voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions.

Vilsack has angered pro-life advocates in the Midwestern state. He vetoed a pro-life bill three different times that would have provided women with accurate information about abortion’s risks and alternatives. Similar legislation in other states has helped reduce abortions by as much as one-third.

Vilsack also lent his name to a NARAL election fundraising effort — two of only four governors to support the anti-Bush campaign.