The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


John McCain

Ingraham Implores McCain to Skip Pro-Choice VP Pick

By Perry Bacon Jr.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- John McCain remains on the defensive about rumors he will pick a running mate who supports abortion rights, only days after a strong performance at a forum on values issues had reassured social conservative voters.

"How could you consider selecting someone who opposed the federal partial birth abortion ban and was one of the eleven original cosponsors of the radical freedom of choice act as your vice-president?" conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham asked the Arizona senator in an interview this morning on her show.

She was referring to Sen. Joe Lieberman, a top McCain supporter who had backed a bill that would have banned states from any kind of restrictions on abortions before "fetal viability."

McCain, who called into the show before a campaign event here, said he couldn't talk about the vice presidential selection process at all, because then "we get into this endless series of questions and comments."

"I think I made it very clear Saturday night I have a pro-life record, that I have pro-life policies and my administration will have pro-life policies," McCain said.

Ingraham, not satisfied, responded, "from the conservative perspective we are literally imploring you to not turn your back on your great pro-life record over decades now."

McCain has rarely spoken about who he will pick as his running mate, and it's not clear if he is actively considering someone like Lieberman or Tom Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania who also supports abortion rights.

In the town hall here, McCain was asked two different questions on the subject. A woman asked if rumors he would pick a "pro-life" running mate were true, while a man asked McCain if he would choose a vice president who would "cause us to want to stay home."

"I will nominate a person to be vice president, my running mate, who shares my principles, my values and my priorities," McCain said to loud applause, not addressing the abortion issue directly.

And in a rare move for a politician, he acknowledged reading polls, which he said showed "we are doing very well with our base."

Posted at 3:06 PM ET on Aug 20, 2008  | Category:  John McCain
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I dont agree with these right wing nut jobs a bit but if thats what it takes to keep posers away from white house and keep America safe,listen to them McCain.I will still vote for you because I know what you are in your heart-a true progressive patriot!

Posted by: J | August 21, 2008 12:12 PM

Keep America safe? John McCain will have us in a war with half the world if he is elected. He says, "I know how to win wars." Funny, I don't recall him ever winning one.

Posted by: biggirl90 | August 21, 2008 12:57 PM

I dont agree with these right wing nut jobs a bit but if thats what it takes to keep posers away from white house and keep America safe,listen to them McCain.I will still vote for you because I know what you are in your heart-a true progressive patriot!

Posted by: J | August 21, 2008 12:12 PM

I wish to God that most of these Right-Wing Social Darwinists like Ingram and Limbaugh were aborted. They don't like anyone besides themselves and maybe each other; otherwise their hatred for average people is excreted from their every pore.

Posted by: tanaS | August 21, 2008 11:01 AM

One way John McCain might overcome this dilemma is to name as his VP Mitt Romney. Romney has become an anti-abortion Pro Lifer as demanded by much of McCain's base. Yet Romney is not so far distant from his previous Pro Choice stance that he wouldn't qualify as a help in pitching the big tent and its diversity sought by the Party.

Posted by: First Mouse | August 21, 2008 10:29 AM

The Pro Life Movement needs to look at the big picture.

People on both sides of the issue can argue who is right and who is wrong until they are blue in the face, but it is not going to help fix the problem.

Overturning Roe vrs Wade will not stop abortions in America. We had abortions before the ruling and we will have abortions after the ruling.

Addressing our declining economy, lack of education on the issue and our bodies, and lack of affordable healthcare and contraception is the only way to help reduce the amount of abortions in america.

As our economy continues to decline women who would never consider having an abortion are posed with tough questions like how am I going to feed an extra mouth, I am working two jobs already and dont spend any time with the kids I already have, I am loosing my home... where will we live, I dont have health insurance. We are already on public assistance, will we ever get out of it? Saving for college? I have to save $450,000 for my three kids to go to a state school... what low or middle income family can afford that? Women are foregoing buying contraceptives.... should I spend the $50 bucks on birth control pills or food for my family?

Last night over dinner I asked talked about some of these posts... and I angrily said, How can these people be so stupid, cant they see they are being Mainipulated? Republicans dont care about the poor and the middle class... they want to continue the economic policies of the current administration that is leading to women to have more and more abortions. He wisely said... you cant fault them for being passionate about their beliefs. The democrats are doing a poor job of pointing out the big picture.

So PLEASE, think about it. If you dont think the republican party is manipulating you.... remember back to the 2004 election when Bush all of a sudden announced he would like a constitutional ban on gay marriage. All of the Right Wing Conservative movement rallied behind him and voted for him... we havent heard a single thing about it since.

Now they are doing the same thing. Do you really think McCain is going to pick a pro choice VP? I seriously doubt it. He is dancing around it... making it seem like a possibility. When he announces a Pro life candidate, all of a sudden a man who was once distrusted by the movement will be the hero and savior to them all. Its pathetic.

Posted by: realamerican2 | August 21, 2008 7:32 AM

McCain has to be against the woman's right to choose.

Because he supports the draft and the right of the nation to wage war everywhere, without legal pretext. Georgia, Iraq, Nigeria, whereever there is gas and oil, our men and women will die.
So we cannot afford to allow women deciding whether to have a child on her own. The STATE will make the woman bear the child, and then take it and use it to wage wars for oil and gas.
That's the McCain long term strategy, from conception to the grave.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 12:25 AM

hah hah, FORCED by Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbo to choose based on their entertainment gruel. Now that is politics of the Third Reiche updated.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 20, 2008 5:58 PM

Picking a pro-choice candidate would be a smart choice. This election will be decided by the independents, not the knuckle-dragging evangelicals. Poor McSame.

Posted by: Flying Spaghetti Monster | August 20, 2008 5:32 PM

At last we will control America, Israel will call the shots and the goys will clean our toilets.

Posted by: Lev | August 20, 2008 5:32 PM

I hope McCain does pick a Pro-Choice VP.

At least that would show that has guts to do the right thing, over republican dogma.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 5:20 PM

LOL @ Republican continued failure!

Kick the extemists out!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 5:18 PM

Gee, I'm really sorry your mom blew up, Ricky, guess she won't be able to eat any spicy foods for awhile

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 5:15 PM

I do not intend to become a regular part of conversation on political issues. I simply want you to consider the inevitable effects of a President who uses his position to promote and support a religion. They should be making laws and acting on behalf of the citizens of this country...who, might I remind you....SHOULD HAVE FREEDOM OF CHOICE. The abortion issue aside, why not simply take responsibility and action, to prevent the causes of it that are caused by the social ills...and look at the history of discrimination towards women as part of the problem. Belief in God should be a personal choice...and it is MY belief that the person, NOT a God, is the cause of the environmental situations. Religion in politics is severe abuse of the position, and only creates the environment and mentality for furthering personal goals and beliefs, and disregarding the overall good of society, and the overall goals of a President. McCain is disastrous to the country!

From: No political party boundaries

Posted by: MaryS | August 20, 2008 5:08 PM

Giuliani to keynote Republican convention?

Gee, I can't wait to see what drinking games are devised for that one. And no, "9/11" shouldn't be one of the drink markers. We don't want a rash of alcohol poisoning that night.

Posted by: Clem | August 20, 2008 4:54 PM

"Well, uh, you know, I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or, uh, a scientific perspective, uh, answering that question with specificity, uh, you know, is, is, uh, above my pay grade.” - Sen. Barack Obama, on “When does a baby get human rights?”

"Nuanced" my behind...he's an freakin' empty suit with no experience. What a great candidate.

Posted by: smd2 | August 20, 2008 4:50 PM

McCain is a liar and a hypocrite:

What the Vietnamese deployed against McCain emerges in all the various accounts. It involved sleep deprivation, the withholding of medical treatment, stress positions, long-time standing, and beating. Sound familiar?
According to the Bush administration's definition of torture, McCain was therefore not tortured. Cheney denies that McCain was tortured; as does Bush. So do John Yoo and David Addington and George Tenet. . .and McCain supported them on it.

Posted by: ZappoDave | August 20, 2008 4:21 PM

Alex, your guy is dangerous for our country's security and a disaster for the economy. All else is of little consequence, particularly the ignorant liberal crap you wrote about.

Posted by: v racer | August 20, 2008 3:59 PM

As a Democrat I would love to see McCain make the fatal misstep of choosing a pro-choice running mate. The only thing as bad in the minds of the Christian wacko base of the GOP would be choosing someone who's openly gay (Lindsey Graham might be OK since he's thoroughly closeted). There's some reason to hope since he's shown himself to be clueless about the Bible nutjobs in the past.

Posted by: John in Chicago | August 20, 2008 3:49 PM

Posted by McCain=Bush:
The Haves, the Have Mores and John McCain

Eight years ago, then Governor George W. Bush revealingly joked about his backers at the 2000 Al Smith Dinner. "This is an impressive crowd - the haves and the have-mores," Bush said, adding, "Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." With his own quip Saturday night that "$5 million" is his definition of "rich," John McCain made no mistake that he is Bush's natural heir.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being happily rich and utterly detached. Nothing, that is, unless you make criticizing your political opponent as "elitist" and "out of touch" a centerpiece of your campaign. Rick Davis, speaking on behalf of his $100 million man John McCain, earlier this month offered the latest formulation of Barack Obama as an effete, aloof denizen of the upper class:

"Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand 'MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew - Black Forest Berry Honest Tea' and worry about the price of arugula."

Of course, Davis' "arugula war" is just another attempt at misdirection. After all, John McCain's $5 million threshold where "you move from middle class to rich" is just the latest episode of his enduring disconnect from the real lives of the American people.

For starters, McCain in April declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, was back with the campaign last week.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay.

In his defense, McCain's shocking tone-deafness may just be a matter of perspective. When you're as well off as he is, anything below a $5 million income (a figure exceeding that earned on average by the top 0.1% of Americans) seems middle class.

*The $100 Million Man*
-Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.

*The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership*
-While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.

*The Anheuser-Busch Windfall*
-As it turns out, the beauty of globalization is in the eye of the beholder. While John McCain apparently played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.

*McCain's $370,000 Personal Tax Break*
-Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress analyzed John McCain's tax proposals. The conclusion? McCain's plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush, delivering 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers. McCain's born-again support for the Bush tax cuts has one additional bonus for Mr. Straight Talk: the McCains would save an estimated $373,000 a year.

*Paying Off $225,000 Credit Card Debt, Priceless*
-That massive windfall from his own tax plan will come in handy for John McCain. As was reported in June, the McCains were carrying over $225,000 in credit card debt. The American Express card - don't leave your homes without it.

*Charity Begins at Home*
-As Harpers documented earlier this year, the McCains are true believers in the old saying that charity begins at home:

Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to [their] foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids' private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
Ironically, the McCain campaign last week blasted Barack Obama for having attended a private school in Hawaii on scholarship. That attack came just weeks after John McCain held an event at his old prep school, Episcopal High, an institution where fees now top $38,000 a year.

*Private Jet Setters*
-As the New York Times detailed back in April, John McCain enjoyed the use of his wife's private jet for his campaign, courtesy of election law loopholes he helped craft. Despite the controversy, McCain continued to use Cindy's corporate jet. For her part, Cindy McCain says that even with skyrocketing fuel costs, "in Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane."

*Help on the Homefront*
-In these tough economic times, the McCains are able to stretch their household budget. As the AP reported in April, "McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain."

*Well-Heeled in $520 Shoes*
-If clothes make the man, then John McCain has it made. As Huffington Post noted in July, "He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop - from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA." It is altogether fitting that McCain wore the golden loafers during a golf outing with President George H.W. Bush in which he rode around in cart displaying the sign, "Property of Bush #41. Hands Off."

And so it goes. John McCain proclaims $5 million finally makes you rich. Meanwhile, ABC's Charlie Gibson thinks a $200,000 income makes you middle class. And his colleague Cokie Roberts claims Barack Obama's vacation to his home state of Hawaii was "exotic."

.....Just more of the same RNC/GOP crapola and hypocracy...when they say "sh*t rolls downhill" it really does roll....

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 20, 2008 3:47 PM

McCain would truly be a hall mark of stupidity if he decided on Ridge or Lieberman. He's up in the polls, the conservative base has grown comfortable with him. Why would he risk it all for personal friendship?

Posted by: mpp | August 20, 2008 3:44 PM


Posted by: G | August 20, 2008 3:42 PM

It's time for all the little Wingnuts to do what they do best:
Lockstep behind the angry old rich white guy (John McBush) running for President who has an (R) in front of his name:

Posted by: Johnny Rotten | August 20, 2008 3:27 PM

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