April 21st, 2008
04:44 PM ET
10 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. Shannon

    god forbid he would answer any question that hasn't been scripted for him. He is such a fraud!

    April 21, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. middle-aged american

    Can anyone blame him for avoiding the media? It's the media that has turned this primary season into a circus. This has been nothing short of a mud-slinging, he-said/she-said, trash-talking slander fest. And most of it is because of the way the candidates word have been interpreted by the media. I imagine there won't be any pulitzer prizes anytime in the near future. Investigative journalism has become tabloid journalism.

    April 21, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Eric-Illinois

    That sound you hear is the sound of a chicken coming home to roost. Stamp my foot. Turn and pout. Flip a finger. Wag it all about. But never ever forget how to talk out of both sides of your mouth. Pathetic.

    April 21, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. SBvoter

    He probably doesn't want to put his foot in his mouth again...to close to the primary.
    he's not good at answering questions, he just llikes to memorize speeches. what a joke.

    HILLARY 08

    April 21, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. ratgurl

    Reading the responses by the readers over the past few days, I see an OVERWHELMING support for Obama. I, too, support Obama and have dug into my wallet 3 times to prove it. It seems what America is saying is "we're not gonna take it anymore!" We deserve a new option, and that option has made itself available through Obama.

    We don't expect perfection or miracles, we expect to have a say in how our government works. We expect accountability. We expect our Senators, Representatives, and even our President to be looking out for AMERICA FIRST, everyone else second.

    Americans are notorious for their generosity the world over, but with the country in its current state of disgrace, we can barely feed & house ourselves. We will lose our reputation as a generous donor because of the corruption of government over the past 20 years.

    So now we shout CHANGE. Now we demand change.

    April 21, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. TheLeftNut

    Gee, Tony Snow must be writing this fluff. I just heard an interview with him a few minutes ago.

    April 21, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. ratgurl

    considering how invested the media's been in HRC's campaign, why would he consort with the enemy?

    April 21, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. v.ananthan


    April 21, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. lynette

    Give the guy a break he is campaigning, like community organizers do, they work until the last call has been made, the last door has been knocked on, and the last hand has been shaken-you people make a big deal out of cornflakes, geez!!!!

    April 21, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. AZM

    I'd avoid them too... everytime he opens his mouth he losses a point in the polls...

    People are seeing the total and complete hypocracy that is Obama!


    April 21, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. A.J. in FLA

    Mr. Obamas avoidance of the media gives confort to our thought that we are in the presence of the 21st., century's GREAT IMPOSTOR

    April 21, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Craig Demeter

    Could it be the same old politics of Washington in ducking press questions?

    Oops, forgot Barack Obambi was the new face of Washington.

    April 21, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |

    If I were a candidate, I would grant only interviews to recognized serious analysts and not to reporters, which are only interested in scandal, rumors and in saw discord between candidates.

    Having enough money available, I would convey my message by
    paid programs or publications


    April 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Susan MO

    Obama appear to be one who will get aggravated easily.

    Also, he was so negative to the good people of Pennsylvania. We do not need a president who insults the people.

    Now Strongely for Hillary Clinton

    April 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Frank, San Diego

    Boy, you'd think Obama had stood them up for a date to the prom. What a bunch of whiners.

    Maybe you guys in the media would get more respect from Obama (and Clinton, for that matter) if you weren't such a bunch of shallow, insipid, know-nothings.

    Why aren't out running down real stories. Like the Pentagon's use of bought and paid for military analysts to manipulate media coverage of the war.

    Oh, I forgot. That would make you look dumber than you already do.

    April 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. kathy

    Because everytime he opens his mouth he says something stupid. He is hiding out he doesnt like answering any hard questions, he likes to stick to his script. I think people are starting to see the true Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. NickNas

    Can you Blame the man?? When the press prints every lie that comes out of Hillarys mouth and never investigate them first.

    When The press has refused to do thier job and REPORT the NEWS that comes out on Hillary almost DAILY!

    I personally wouldn't speak to another reporter until one grew a pair and had the GUTS to report the truth about Hillary and not let her LAUGH OFF their questions.

    April 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. PA Democrat

    The 'MEDIA' is looking for something to 'TWIST' in the final hours before the primary!
    Yea Media how you like that for the Bias Coverage!
    Don't complain now it's because of all your Bias Coverage Sen. Obama has to now untwist what you guys twisted!
    Not to mention that pathetic debate on Wed that took 45 min to get to an important issue!
    Smart move Sen. Obama! We see tha game the media is playing. Look at how many photos of Hillary they have on here today its disgusting!
    We will win Pa and most definately you will win NC!

    April 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. Golden Chica

    What is Barack Obama acting like he's the almighty? Is he afraid that he might say something that will blow up in his face before super tuesday. Who does he think he's fooling? Go Hillary! The toughest candidate running in the ticket.

    April 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Penn State

    Wow!!!!! Obama is afraid of the media. I guess he is afraid that he is going to say something stupid. Clinton is always available because she is not afraid. If you cant stand the heat Obama, get out of the kitchen.

    Hillary 08' baby!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Granny Fite

    Who cares. Stop whining. You've got plenty of fodder. Just open your ears at the events you are supposed to cover and think for yourselves. Is it possible that you don't really need to be spoonfed in order to produce 10 inches of copy? Stop using Clinton's words to characterize what Obama is doing and saying. That would be a refreshing break for all of us.

    April 21, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. SLO Bear

    It seems like the media's primary intent is to prolong the race, increasing their attention (and earnings) at the expense of the nation's future. Obama is smart not to trust them at this time.

    April 21, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Ardnuas

    He is trying to get votes....... He should NOT be wasting his time with the media. The media is just trying to cause Barack and Hillary to FIGHT over something stupid!
    Obama/Edwards08 Si Se Puede

    April 21, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Carrie Pa

    Please! Obama is taking questions from reporters. He is all over the local news.

    April 21, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Interesting

    Alot of chicken movement is occurring from Obama. If he can't deal with tough questions now, do you think that Obama can handle those same questions as PRESIDENT or even the Nominee for the Democrats.

    April 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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