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Inside Politics

McCain as Kerry veep? Not so fast

Republican entertains, dismisses possibility


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Maverick Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona quickly slammed the door Wednesday on speculation that he might accept the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket with fellow Sen. John Kerry.

McCain raised eyebrows in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" when he described Kerry, a fellow Vietnam veteran, as a "close friend" and said if the four-term senator from Massachusetts asked him to be his running mate, "Obviously, I would entertain it."

McCain also said that he thought there was "no scenario" under which that would happen because "it's impossible to imagine the Democratic Party seeking a pro-life, free-trading, non-protectionist, deficit hawk. ...

"They'd have to be taking some steroids, I think, in order to let that happen, " he joked.

Despite his disclaimers that a Kerry-McCain pairing was unlikely, McCain's comments received enough attention that his office felt the need to quash the speculation several hours later, insisting he would not be a vice presidential candidate this year.

McCain was Bush's chief rival in the 2000 Republican presidential primaries. He is running for re-election to the Senate this year in Arizona.

The president also has appointed McCain to a nine-member independent panel investigating U.S. intelligence capabilities, including the quality of information gathered in the run-up to the Iraq war.


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