April 21st, 2008
04:44 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama avoids media in final days of PA

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (CNN) – It's now been ten days since Democrat Barack Obama has made himself available for questions from his traveling press corps, and it appears as though that number could rise even higher.

Aides have said it's unlikely he’ll hold an availability with reporters before Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary, but that they "could always add one." Given their track record over the past few days, however, that doesn't sound promising.

Since the start of the weekend, the possibility of a press conference has been dangled in front of reporters twice—only to be snatched away at the last possible moment.

On Saturday, reporters were teased for the majority of the day with a possible evening avail, only to be told at the eleventh hour that it would not be happening. To make it up, staffers said they were aiming to put him in front of cameras on Sunday but that, too, did not happen.

And at a diner Thursday morning, a reporter slipped in a question about former President Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas, but Obama responded by saying he just wanted to eat his waffle. Later that afternoon while taping an interview for "The Daily Show," a reporter tried to ask Obama about a new Clinton ad and the Obama ad that came as a response. According to a pooled report, the White House hopeful asked the reporter if she was "supposed to be" asking a question then. He added that he would consider answering but that it would depend "on how well behaved you are." In the end, he did not take the question.

Traveling press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on exactly why no time has been allotted for traveling press questions since a press conference in Indianapolis April 11. Obama did, however, make time Thursday for a few one on one interviews.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. david goldmen for OBAMA

    COM ON PENNSYLVANIA VOTE FOR INTELLIGENCE,

    UNITY & OUR SUCCESS IN THE WORLD.

    NOT HATE, POVERTY & DIVISION.

    THE STATE OF REVOLUTION PAST & PRESENT.

    MAKE YOUR SELF PROUD ONCE AGEIN.

    April 21, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. Linda Li

    I'd beat reporters with a fly swatter if I could.

    April 21, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. steve

    I happen to be an Obama supporter, but I want to offer this "insider's look" into the media:

    I work with the media every day. (It's in a completely other non-political arena.) For the most part, they are just like you and me, that is to say, folks just doing their job. But sometimes their job means to dig, to infer, to cajole, to pry, to twist . . . to try to get me to say things that, in fact, are not true. They do it because their editors are leaning on them to "get a story," to "get an edge," to "get news." Fine. As long as there is actual NEWS. And so, I can understand why ANY politician might want to take a break from the media for a while – especially after that debacle a week ago courtesy of ABC. The media nags – and the days of JOURNALISM, true fact-checking, report-the-facts journalism are long gone.

    April 21, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. vic nashville,Tn

    I think Obama doesn’t want to answer the question ?
    Is he lawyer ? is he professor ?
    Give me a break Obama
    Hillary 08

    April 21, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  5. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    PA HOW WOULD LIKE TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE THAT

    MADE THE RIGHT CALL? DON'T GO ALONG. MAKE THE CALL.

    WE CAN HAVE A PRESIDENT THAT WE AND THE WORLD LOVE.

    WHAT'S MORE, A PRESIDENT THAT LOVES US BACK.

    WE NEED A BRAKE. PLEASE GIVE IT TO US.

    April 21, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. Grammy in Oklahoma

    Senator Obma is destroying his credibility by his actions and that is not the fault of the press.

    If one believes Senator Obama in his hope and change promises, do you also believe in wishing on the moon?????? And how many of your wishes come true.

    Senator Clinton is the better candidate and should win.

    April 21, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. Anna

    He only knows how to give prewritten speeches! Loser! What in the world would happen if became the pres .....he's gonna have to answer questions from the media and not only from the US but from nations around the world!!

    April 21, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  8. Carol

    I can understand him staying out of the media before the primary considering the distortion of just about everything he says.

    http://bravenewfilms.org/blog/36370-the-fox-is-wrong-obama-version?utm_source=rgemail

    April 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  9. NoBama

    This guy is a doofus. Anyone who follows him should have his/her head examined.

    McCain '08

    April 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. I'm confused...

    Isn't this his "traveling" press corps that he is avoiding?

    April 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Considering all the poor reporting by the media, I can't say I blame Obama. He needs a respite from all the hounds trying to catch him utter a questionable word that they can analyze and reanalyze to the viewer's dismay.

    As for his oratory and his writing abilities, Obama has proven himself over and over in that regard. Furthermore, he has kept his cool throughout all the Clinton negative ads. . .unlike Clinton whose personality changes each hour.

    I'm sorry, but nothing anyone can write will convince me that she will be a good president. I totally distrust her and her husband and many of her campaign staff.

    April 21, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. Peter in Oregon

    Yes! Yes! Yes we Can!

    Yeah let George S. and the others ask you questions about your lapel pin and other gossip later. Focus on doing well in PA.

    OBAMA '08

    April 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. Paul in Oregon

    How odd that Bill talks with one of the most conservative commentators and then Billary gets the nod from a beyond conservative news paper.

    Now they either want Billary to face McSame, so they can rip her in the election, or maybe she is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

    She voted for the war and won't appologize. Then she votes for the bankruptcy bill. She lies about everything.

    So who is Billary. A ploy for the Republicans or a Republican?

    April 21, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    PA VOTE FOR A BETTER FUTURE.

    VOTE FOR A FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN &

    GRAND CHILDREN, NOT HILLARY'S EGO AND POCKET.

    SHE VOTED TO SEND OUR CHILDREN AND MONEY TO IRAQ,

    NOT FOR US BUT HER RICH LOBBYISTS.

    EVERYTHING THAT COMES OUT HER MOUTH IS A LIE.

    April 21, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  15. Arizona...

    Calm Down Hillary supporters...He does have school age children.. Maybe he is spending time with them???

    April 21, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  16. Captain Cannabis

    It would seem to me that Senator Clinton's supporters seem to mirror her image. Everything's fine until the tables start to turn. Wel lfor all I care every single one of you can vote for McCain WHEN Obama wins the nomination. I would find some sort of sick satisfaction in listening to all of you pout about it later. You all probably voted for Bush so you didn't seem "un-patriotic". Your candidate it fighting a losing race. If you really care about the principles she SAYS she stands for then quit pouting and vote for the man who's going to be in a position to do something about it. Buncha crybabies.

    April 21, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. Alice

    Last I heard, the press was welcome at all of Obama's campaign events. That is more than enough to fill the pages of their newspapers, and the air time on their news shows.

    Oh, I forgot – the only thing they care about it playing "gotcha" with Barack ...

    April 21, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  18. buki

    i'll just vote "present" for that.

    April 21, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. LT for Obama

    Patty – Your comment was paranoid and racist. Are you kidding me?

    All these conspiracy theories are ridiculous.

    As for all those people who are putting down Barack Obama in your mean spirited posts, it seems to me that many of you need to learn a but of grammer. Most of your posts don't even make sense. If you are going to be an intelligent person posting here, at least make sure your words are spelled corrected and you are not mixing your words around.

    Honestly, I cannot stand to read illegible posts. Get an education. From what I understand, most of those supporting Hillary Clinton are uneducated.

    Heck, even I did not finish college and I can write better than most of you. Before you start attacking Barack Obama and calling him stupid, evil, etc. think about the fact that you are being just as evil and hateful.

    April 21, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Tanya K

    Ofcourse he has, he cracks under the pressure of not having someone else write his spech. I hope that he and Hillary are on the ticket together and we can get a Democrate back in the White House atleast he has enough brainwashed supporters to get him elected>

    April 21, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. Rachel

    Ramona in Ohio: The Clinton campaihn met with the Canadian Government. Don't you read the papers and the blogs. Bill Cinnton is also coming to Toronto for a campaign fund raiser for Billary. Imagine having to go to a foreign country for funds. Get with the program.

    April 21, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Teresa W. of Newport Bch, CA

    You know three days after the PA primary, HRC and her hubby will be in Los Angeles for a court date 04/25/2008 in regards to the Peter Paul case.

    Check out YouTube and search for Peter Paul/Hillary Clinton. Hillary has been expose for a crime she denies whole heartly and she was caught on film again. Hillary is a BIG FAT LIAR. I voted for her in California but just over 15 months, has persuaded me to vote for Barack Obama. She talks negative about the democratic party member as if she works for the Republicans. It's true she relies on the African and Hispanics American vote (whom she care nothing about) to get her through the primaries and caucases.

    She has nothing else to gain other than to destroy the Democratic Party if she doesn't get her way.

    DNC, please shut Hillary down before its too late. If she can't have her way, she'll bring everyone down with her including the DNC.

    CNN Please post my comment

    April 21, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Rob V.

    I think Sen. Obama is a very upfront and honest man. He CAN answer the tough questions, of which the press aren't asking. The "press" only wants to know about Rev. Wright, or his "bitter" statements, and after explaining those situations a dozen times, he's understadably, tired of answering the "same old" questions. Which he's answered gracefully and articulately.

    Why aren't they asking Sen. Clinton about that BIG LIE she told about Bosnia? What about how she and Pres. Clinton earned over $100 million dollars as a senator and EX-president? Or how she is still taking money from special interest groups and lobbyists? (AND NO, BARACK HAS NOT TAKEN ANY DURING HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMAPAIGN!!)

    So I just want to say to all the Clinton supporters out there, "Do we live in England?" I ask that, because if you notice, this country has been run by two wanna-be "royal" families for over 25 yrs. And look at where we currently are. We need a CHANGE. And another Clinton is not CHANGE. That's history repeating.

    I believe the $200+ million Sen. Obama has raised from ordinary CITIZENS, says more than any words I could express in this posting. To all PA Voters: Vote smart tomorrow, don't vote for '92-00. Vote for the change we need right now.. Vote for a better America..Vote for Barack Obama...
    Thanks for reading....

    Rob in NJ.

    April 21, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. jr.

    Mr. Obama and your canpain it dosen't mater how much money you all raise for your campain , its going to be up to the American people who is going to be the next president of the United States. Money dosen't buy elections. I think its hard to beleive that all this money you'll getting its from small donations ,I think later will find out where it all realy came from.it seems like all these poeple you'll clainming are donating can't be havihg money problems ,an donate so much?

    April 21, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12