(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Al Gore said he has not ruled out the possibility of choosing a Republican as his running mate. However, the vice-president was quick to add, "It's most unlikely, I don't want to mislead you. But, I don't completely rule it out."
Gore has met twice with Republican U.S. Senator John McCain, who suspended his White House race and with Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who won as a Reform Party candidate, but who has since left the party. Asked if McCain would be on his list, Gore said, "He will be supporting Bush. That's no surprise to anybody, but that doesn't mean he and I can't work together."
McCain has repeatedly insisted he was not interested in a spot on the Bush ticket and could better serve the nation as a member of the U.S. Senate. However, it is unclear whether Bush will offer the spot at their upcoming meeting in Pittsburgh.
Since suspending his White House campaign, McCain has often spoken of his intent to continue working for campaign finance reform. Gore has also painted himself as someone interested in reforming the fundraising system, despite raising millions of dollars in soft money in 1996 and this year.
Gore also stresses the importance of a bipartisanship approach to critical issues, as does McCain.
Gore said in selecting a running mate, he would ask himself, "is the person the best person to take over as president, would that become necessary." Gore also insisted his decision would not be influenced by whom Texas Governor George W Bush selects as his running mate. Gore also said he has not given a list of names to former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who will head his vice-presidential search effort.