Contradicting earlier reports that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain was considering a running mate supportive of legalized abortion, new reports claim the candidate is no longer contemplating choosing pro-choice former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.
Ridge, the first homeland security secretary, was believed to have been a leading contender for the Republican vice-presidential slot and was the only such one reported to favor abortion rights.
Citing sources at the Republican National Convention, Fox News reports that senior McCain advisers and aides say McCain “got the message” that such a choice would not help his presidential campaign.
The National Review magazine on Monday reported that McCain campaign staff has been contacting key state Republican officials around the U.S. to evaluate the prospects of placing an abortion rights supporter on the ticket.
National Review Editor Rich Lowry said a Ridge selection would not be a “big benefit” in securing victory in the key swing state of Pennsylvania and would upset conservatives “just at the moment they’re beginning to work up being excited about John McCain.”
Political commentator David Limbaugh on Tuesday claimed that a McCain-Ridge ticket would be “political suicide,” arguing that if McCain chooses a pro-abortion candidate he would “forfeit his moral authority and political advantage on this issue” and possibly would secure an election victory for Obama.