In the much-hyped search for John McCain's vice presidential candidate, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge often surfaced as a possibility.
The two entered Congress together in 1982. McCain called Ridge a "beloved friend" and "one of the ideal Americans that I have ever known" in a recent Wilkes-Barre, Pa., appearance. And the Republican presidential candidate could use the former Pennsylvania governor's help turning the Keystone State into a red state.
But conservatives scoffed at the notion that McCain, already viewed with suspicion in some conservative circles, would choose a running mate who supports abortion rights. And McCain hinted Monday, perhaps unintentionally, that Ridge might not be on his short list.
During a visit to a General Electric plant in Erie, Pa., with Ridge in earshot, McCain was asked what he would do in his first 90 days in office. He replied, "Call Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he's taking and get him to work."