The Brody File has searched the video vault again and brings up the following:
When John McCain was running for President in 2000, he sat down with Charlie Rose of PBS and was asked the following:
Charlie Rose: And if John McCain was a presidential candidate he would certainly include and consider someone who was pro-choice as a running mate?
John McCain: I would not rule out anyone on the basis of any single issue including the position of abortion.
Before watching the video, please be advised that you have to forward in to the 43:33 mark to see those comments. Click here for the video.
The Brody File contacted the McCain campaign to ask them whether McCain still holds to that same position today. The response by McCain Spokesman Joseph Pounder is below:
"John McCain is opposed to any sort of a litmus test, just like past Republican presidential nominees. As John McCain has said repeatedly, his vice-presidential nominee will be someone who shares his principles, values and priorities."
Now, Tuesday on MSNBC's Hardball, McCain was asked a very similiar question to what he was asked in 2000. Watch the video is here, or read the transcription below:
Chris Matthews: Would you put a person on the ticket with you like the former governor of this state who is very popular Tom Ridge even though he may disagree with you on the issue of Roe v. Wade and abortion rights? Would you put somebody on the ticket like that on that one issue. Would that stop him?
John McCain: I don't know if it would stop him but it would be difficult.
Chris Matthews: But why that one issue? Why is there that one litmus test?
John McCain: I'm not saying that would be necessarily, but I am saying it's basically the respect and cherishing of the right of the unborn is one of the fundemental principles of my party and it's a deeply held belief of mine.
What do you think of his comments from 2000 compared to yesterday?
It seemd like he's a little further to the right today than he was in 2000. He's essentially saying no litmus test in both cases, but you can tell that now that he is the nominee, he needs to be extra careful. His 2000 line wouldn't go over so well today. Yet his line yesterday in defense of the pro-life position was pretty strong.
I understand that the "no litmus test" line is something all politicians have to say. But if you're a dedicated pro-lifer or pro-choicer, don't you just want to hear a nominee - be it a Democrat or Republican - say something like, "Well, since my party's platform is (pro-life or pro-choice) and since I believe that same way, I will pick someone who believes in protecting the unborn(or protecting the rights of women)?"
I know a VP's stance on abortion shouldn't be the ultimate decider, but why shouldn't that be on the automatic check off list? It's not like a VP is a Supreme Court Nominee.
Is it wrong to say, "I want my Vice-President to be pro-life" or "I want my President to be pro-choice"? What's the harm?