AP: McCain Rejects Kerry's VP Overture
Friday June 11, 2004 8:16 PM
By RON FOURNIER
AP Political Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen. John McCain has personally rejected John Kerry's overtures to join the Democratic presidential ticket and forge a bipartisan alliance against President Bush, The Associated Press has learned.
Kerry has asked McCain as recently as late last month to consider becoming his running mate, but the Arizona senator said he's not interested, said a Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity because Kerry has insisted that his deliberations be kept private. A second official familiar with the conversations confirmed the account, and said the Arizona senator made it clear he won't change his mind.
Both officials said Kerry stopped short of offering McCain the job, sparing himself an outright rejection that would make his eventual running mate look like a second choice.
``Senator McCain categorically states that he has not been offered the vice presidency by any one,'' said McCain's chief of staff, Mark Salter, who would not confirm the officials' account.
Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter declined to comment.