Speaking on his campaign plane on Wednesday morning, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain said that some potential running mate choices would not necessarily be ruled out because of their support for abortion rights.
The four men most frequently mentioned as potential running mates are reportedly Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Ridge and Lieberman both support permissive abortion laws, while Romney supported abortion rights at least until November 2004.
"I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party," McCain said, according to the Weekly Standard web log. "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."
McCain made these comments while responding to a question about his remarks earlier this year during the Republican primary season concerning whether New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg would make a good running mate. While praising the mayor, Sen. McCain said that Bloomberg’s support for abortion would make such a choice difficult.
In his Wednesday morning comments, McCain said Governor Ridge would be preferable to Mayor Bloomberg.
“I think it's a fundamental tenet of our party to be pro-life but that does not mean we exclude people from our party that are pro-choice,” McCain stated. “We just have a--albeit strong--but just it's a disagreement. And I think Ridge is a great example of that. Far moreso than Bloomberg, because Bloomberg is pro-gay rights, pro, you know, a number of other issues.”
According to the Weekly Standard, Sen. McCain has a solid pro-life record and has promised to appoint “strict constructionists” to the U.S. Supreme Court. His campaign website says McCain believes the Roe v. Wade decision, which mandated legal abortion throughout the U.S., is a “flawed decision that must be overturned.”
Saying the overturning of Roe v. Wade would restore “constitutional balance,” McCain’s website said the senator believes “the difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.”