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Surprise! Town Hall Attendees Want to Know About McCain’s Veep « The Washington Independent

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Following an interview this morning with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham — during which Ingraham humbly "implored" McCain not to "turn his back on" the GOP’s pro-life base by selecting a pro-choice vice presidential candidate — McCain heard from that base at a town hall meeting here. Once McCain opened it up to questions, he promptly faced two questions about his veep pick.

Audience Member: I heard a rumor that you’re going to pick a pro-life [vice president.] Is that true?

McCain: Thank you. We’re going through the process. I said on Saturday night that I have a proud pro-life record in Congress. I’m proud of that.

McCain went on to repeat his belief that the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, apply to the unborn as well as the born, before declining to give any information about his selection. The second questioner challenged McCain more directly on his intentions:

Audience Member: In the past you’ve alienated a great deal of conservatives who believe that conservative principles are always the answer by stepping across the aisle. …Are you going to pick a vice president that conservatives can actually rally around in the future, or are you going to give us someone who will cause us to want to stay home perhaps?

McCain: At least according to the polling data we have, we’re doing very well with our base. We have a lot more work to do to energize our base…I will nominate a person to be vice president, my running mate, who shares my principles, my values and my priorities. That’s the best that I can tell you.

Conservative pundits have been loudly bloviating about the consequences of a pro-choice veep. It appears their concerns are shared by rank-and-file Republicans. Whether the former aggravates the latter, is a separate question. But this seems to indicate McCain will have a mess on his hands if he selects Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) as his running mate. Though it would make for an entertaining convention, at the very least.

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