Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge Opposed as McCain VP Over Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge Opposed as McCain VP Over Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 4
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security department director Tom Ridge has always been at the bottom of the list for president or vice-president for pro-life advocates because of his pro-abortion views. Ridge renewed those views in a weekend television interview.

While political pundits have tossed Ridge’s name around as a potential running mate for Senator John McCain, pro-life advocates have dismissed him.

Though he hails from one of the key battleground states, Ridge breaks from the rest of the Republican Party by supporting abortion.

This weekend, on ABC News’ "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" program, Ridge confirmed he still holds to a pro-abortion position. But, he downplayed whether that would make it harder for him to become the vice-presidential nominee.

"I would think John would never make it a litmus test, but when it comes down to a nominee selecting a vice presidential running mate, it’s their decision exclusively," said Ridge. "And I would respect that decision one way or another."

Asked whether a pro-abortion vice-presidential candidate would depress the pro-life turnout for McCain, Ridge also dismissed any speculation.

"I think, at the end of the day, I think the party would be comfortable with someone Sen. McCain was comfortable with. And that is ultimately his decision," he said.

But Matt Lewis, a columnist at the pro-life web forum TownHall, said pro-life advocates may stay home if Ridge becomes McCain’s running mate.

"I am amazed to find that I have (unfortunately) become one of the most outspoken opponents of a possible Tom Ridge ‘veep’ selection," he said.

"This should be a non-starter," he explained. "McCain isn’t just selecting a running mate, he is selecting a potential successor. There are a few issues that are non-negotiable, and this is one of them."

"What is more, turning our back on pro-lifers would be both philosophically incorrect, as well as politically and strategically disadvantageous for the GOP and McCain," he added.

"A pro-choice Republican like Ridge might be a fine head of Homeland Security, but his selection as John McCain’s running mate — the person who would potentially be a heartbeat away from the presidency — is a different story," he concluded.

He urged pro-life advocates to be more outspoken against a Ridge selection, though it appears McCain is leaning towards one of several pro-life running mates like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Virginia congressman Eric Cantor, and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.


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