McCain considers pro-choice Ridge Could lose evangelicals and conservatives

McCain considers pro-choice Ridge

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Republican presidential candidate John McCain is floating the prospect of picking a running mate who supports abortion and cited former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as someone worth considering.

Mr McCain said in an interview with The Weekly Standard: “I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party.”

Mr McCain had been asked about comments he made to several reporters during the Republican primary season about the prospect of picking New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for vice president.

Mr Ridge, Mr McCain told the magazine, would be more palatable to social conservatives who make up the base of the Republican Party.

“And also I feel that – and I’m not trying to equivocate here – that Americans want us to work together,” Mr McCain added.

“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 would rule Tom Ridge out.

“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,” Mr McCain said.

He called the gap between the two sides a disagreement – “albeit strong”.

“And I think Ridge is a great example of that,” McCain added. “Far more so than Bloomberg, because Bloomberg is pro-gay rights, you know, a number of other issues.”

Mr McCain opposes abortion. His Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, supports it.

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