John McCain’s comment that he wouldn’t rule out Tom Ridge as a possible VP for being pro-choice sparked a flurry of panic among the conservative base—a vital group already lukewarm about McCain's party-maverick status. “That choice will end his bid for the presidency,” an activist tells Politico.
McCain aides deny such a pick is imminent: “The point that McCain was making is that people can differ on one issue and still be a vital member of our party,” says a spokesman. But despite the uproar, others say a pro-choice veep could bring in swing voters and Hillary Clinton supporters. “The right-wing is not going anywhere,” says a Democratic pollster.