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
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