Quite a buzz erupted Wednesday when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he would consider a run for the vice presidency — with the expected Democratic nominee.
McCain, who has long been a thorn in the side of Republican President Bush, was asked on the ABC program "Good Morning America" whether he would consider being the vice presidential nominee for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
"John Kerry is a close friend of mine," McCain said of his fellow senator and Vietnam veteran. "We have been friends for years. Obviously I would entertain it."
By evening, McCain had doused the idea.
‘‘I will not be a candidate for vice president in 2004,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t want to leave the Republican Party, for openers, but I don’t want to be vice president of the United States, either.’’
As he entered the Senate chamber for a vote, McCain was asked again, and his answer was unequivocal: ‘‘George Bush asked me in 2000 if I was interested in being vice president. I said no. I wasn’t interested then and I’m not interested now. Is the media so bored that one offhand remark on a morning television show can create a firestorm?’’
Mark Salter, McCain’s chief of staff, said McCain made it clear that it was extremely unlikely that Kerry would ask him to join the ticket.
"It’s impossible to imagine the Democratic Party seeking a pro-life, free-trading, nonprotectionist, deficit hawk," McCain said.
Though McCain is cochairman of Bush’s re-election campaign in Arizona, he has bucked the president on many of his major initiatives, including the tax cuts that are the centerpiece of Bush’s domestic agenda.