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. Lisa

    Well Folks looks like the Party for Obama is over!!!!

    April 21, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Lois

    Ok I have never posted before but here we go....

    The ad Hillary is running in Pa is just sick. It is a slap in the face of all that have lost a loved one because of Osama and the war. I think this woman could not get any lower. How did she think this was a good idea? Ok next she lived in the White House so that equals experience? Her experience was doing (or not doing hahah ) too bill what the interns did when they weren't around. She is a lier and I pray she doesn't get in to the White House.
    As for Obama I was a strong supporter, but as of recent I'm not so sure anymore. I'll be honest I'm kind of hoping for an independent, but if not I'll vote for Obama in primary and election... I think as of right now he is the best choice, unless a third party comes into play.

    PS start farming with Ethanol we will go back to an agriculture society. I'm not saying it is a bad thing.... unless they find a way to outsource corn.

    April 21, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Hillary

    Hillary knows she is not going to win this nomination but want to jeopardise the chance of the party that will produce Obama presidency.One thing is certain after this primary she should be examined because she has taking it as matter of live and death.
    OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Shannon

    Jason, Hillary is on Olbermann tonight, and Larry King, doesn't sound like she's ducking the media to me. Typical Obama supporter, always attack, never know the facts.

    April 21, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. ryan from New Mexico

    because evryone knows Barack is a bumbling fool when it comes to his improv speeches

    The Obama-Train is coming to a HALT no matter huw much he outspends HIllary Clinton

    ...the Clinton Express is just picking up steam people

    sorry your wacky far left Liberals who support Obama but...its going to be the Realistic Candidate who comes out on TOP

    aaaww shucks, here goes another one of my 100 dollar donations to Clinton

    HILLARY 08!!!!

    April 21, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Sharon Minnesota

    People, If you're going to call people names the get a dictionary or use your spell check. Liar is spelled LIAR not lier.

    Mr. Obama is going to have to face the press sooner or later. However, I can't say I blame him for hiding out with his poor record of answering difficult questions. Maybe he thinks there might be more scary reporters out to get him.

    P.S. Hillary will be on CNN with Larry King. She's not hiding.

    April 21, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Good for Sen. Obama for avoiding the media! The media misinforms, misleads, all too often. Just recalling the ABC 'debate' is disgusting.

    Enough with the debates, and by the way, the ABC was the worst debate I have ever seen. The rest of the debates, the pundits said Sen. Obama looked and sounded presidential. I think that the tabloid-addicted public can't get enough drama..... get a life. Read, do your homework learn the truth about the candidates.

    WHY would you vote for someone who VOTED FOR THE IRAQ WAR?
    She and McCain are just as responsible for the 10 TRILLION debt we are in; the deaths, maiming, suicides of our poor soldiers! We still do not have an honest number of how many Iraqis have died.

    Say, what you will about Sen. Obama, but he is a far better person than Hillary. The attacks began with her, and continue with her camp. Aren't we sick & tired of politics as usual?

    April 21, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |

    Shannon, Get real.
    Hillary is definitely a fraud. She would do anything to get elected. Back in February, she almost cried and started whining about how she always was asked first and tough questions during all the debates. Then, she is acting all mighty saying that Obama was whining about getting asked the tough question during the past debate. I think there's a several terms for such individuals as Hillary Clinton, did I hear FLIP FLOPPER.

    April 21, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. Newman

    Let me see, after the lynch-mob treatment he got from the ABC debate, run by Stephanopoulos, a Clinton employee, why would he want to have anything to do with the media right now? Bet you Clinton-folk would like to burn a cross in his yard or hang a noose in the tree, wouldn't you? No Klan! No Klintons! Obama will win, and now you sorry Clinton folks can either redeem and vote Obama or shame and vote McCain, show your true colors America, is it white, or red, white, and blue?

    April 21, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. Josh

    Now I see why Hillary supporters are BITTER...

    April 21, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. skylark

    If I were being relentlessly pursued by a pack of rabid, slobbering dogs I would want a break too. Obama could quote the holy bible verbatim and the press and Hillary would find a way to twist it negatively against him. Listen to yourselves. Why don't all you war mongerers and Hillarites sign up and go fight the real enemy.
    Pogo said it a long time ago. Don't remember the exact wording but the gist of it was:
    I have seen the enemy and he is us.

    April 21, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. N

    It's sooooo nice to see that FINALLY CNN is posting something negative about Obama!!!! I'm about sick of hearing how wonderful he is....gag.

    Hillary '08

    April 21, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. kathy

    JJ from Arizona

    after the 45 minutes of character issues ( that needed to be answered because he also avoided those for 5 weeks) he still fumbled with the rest of his answers. Even those in his campaign say he his not good in debates. Thats why he canceled in NC his polls would drop more. To make it worse he complained the next 2 days about it. Well if you dont think its fair OBAMA take your ball and go home

    April 21, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Nancy

    He should be afraid of what the media would report if only they would.
    Where is the be story on him giving Hillary the finger at a rally in NC?. This is on YouTube uso people could judge for themselves if it was reported. If this had been Hillary, It would be all over the place..... I find this so offensive of a prospective President of the United States. This is more like a high school election. He needs to grow up or maybe have grown-up supports. His speeches are filled with distain. I do not understand why people support his idea that he is running a positive campaign

    April 21, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. mama for obama

    why does he need to answer the same old same old............

    good for him not to play the old media games, which are encouraged and supported for clinton. she likes that, they should go to her..
    he said, no more of the games, 'good for you Obama ' yo uknow they will come back with the same old same old instead of focusing in the issues.
    it woudl be antoher thing if the press asked Hillary about her lies, bosnia, taxes, clinton foudnation, the girl with no health insurance, Nafta, colombia, canada, but you the media choose not to, then you go and do what she tells you to do regarding Obama,

    He will not play by the same old same old politics and news you have all played, by clinton's rules..that is old news, the world needs and wants other ways..
    the rest of the world see us as so outdated in how politics are done..
    the billlary way, kitchen sink strategy..
    and blah blah blha

    April 21, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Chris

    A message without subsequent review is the goal of the Obama camp!

    Lottery tickets offer a hope for change,

    April 21, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. NW

    And he is running for president?

    Obama, please release your tax return for 1997-1999.

    April 21, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Cheryl McNeal

    Being a Reagan-democrat , I like Tony Snow, it is frightening that there is a segment of the population that is not tolerant of others views, what country are these people a member of. There are many people are conservative in their views. The last time I checked freedom of the speech. Mr. Snow has powerful story, fighting one of the most feared disease, waking up everyday, brushing your teeth, putting on your clothes and having a job to go to. I like CNN I have watched other channels run with a story and don't have all of the facts. My second chose of viewing is Fox.
    I have tried to understand what has happen to the positive message, Obama reminds me of his Pastor, "bitter".

    April 21, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. Berndt

    It is sad how so many Obama supporters start using the 'race' issue anytime anything that could be remotely perceived as negative against him comes to light. No one is "dragging him through the mud" by stating a fact – he is staying away from the media lately.

    Honestly, I don't care why he is doing that. The MORE IMPORTANT question you should be asking yourself is how can you support a candidate who supported the Cheney/Republican Engergy Bill that is costing American citizens millons of dollars in higher gas/fuel prices while the big oil companies receive billons of dollars in breaks, etc.

    If that is the type of change that his campaign is based on, he can keep it.

    Go Hillary!!!

    April 21, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Dem08

    Obama has not been vetted. He has gotten a free ride from the media. Its not slinging mud to ask questions about character. Ayers is an issue. Obama has not been truthful. Plus, Obama supporters can not say "don't touch my guy" when they are slinging mud daily at Clinton. PA voters, vote smart, don't vote for popularity.

    April 21, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Venus

    Way to go Obama! Just focus on the people and let the media do what they are going to do. I too have decided that the media is not going to decide my vote! Considering how you are running in all directions – I too would be tired! Hang in there! Yes! Let the media follow you – after all this isn't about the media – it's about the people!

    April 21, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. Ed - Pa

    The media has often flirted with Obama! It's been disappointing and I believe he is where he is because they continue to slobber over him like a St. Bernard. What infatuation! Only Lou Dobbs can give us fair coverage. Gloria, Jack and Jeffrey are 3 peas in the same pod and I tire of their rantings. Is that the best you can do, Wolff?

    Dare we trust this great country to a person who knows so little about us. And I'm proud to be an American and I honor the red, white and blue; something he does not.

    And now he's trying to buy this election?

    Hillary for President '08

    April 21, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  23. Edith Stafford Arkansas

    What you talking about NEWS MEDIA Obama is trying his hardest to get his message to the prople which is more important than Media, Hillary, McCain TWISTING HIS GOOD INTENTIONS OUT OF CONTEXT.

    I didn't get to way in on Hillary's Pearl Harbor,Bin Laden, Iraq story . AD, I must say this woman is so patheticly desparate she didn't just throw the kitchen sink she threw the whole house. What a pitty she can't find enough to tell the voters what she is prepared to do for the American great County and the world without throwing the whole house at OBAMA I WOULD LIKE TO BE THE FLY ON THE WALL PEEPING INTO HER BRAIN WHILE SHE IS ASLEEP, OBAMA MUST BE DOMINATING HER BRAIN FROM SLEEP. SHE HAS LONG BEEN ON OVERTIME ATTACKING HIM I TRULY BELIEVE SHE IS ATTEMPTING TO SET HIM UP FOR McCAIN IN NOVEMBER IF SHE CAN'T WIN I THINK SHE WOULD RATHER DIE THAN SEE HIM WIN. I agree yes it is true, Bill her husband let B LADEN go when he could of taken him,and Hillary voted to take the soilders from afgan, before the finish and launch war in Iraq and is everyone listening she allowed GWB rethoric to brainwash her judgement. The experience QUEEN who cannot get enough supporters to fund her campaign. SHAME,SHAME,SHAME. PLEASE WAKE UP PA SEND THIS CHILD OUT ON A RAIL. OBAMA 08

    April 21, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. Nando

    Barak has better things to do like talk to the real voters who he is trying to help not undercover GOP and MCCAIN opps asking question they should be kick out on there head for asking. I wish they would ask PUTIN some of these dumb questions and see how fast there familys are picking out Coffins for them.

    April 21, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. Paris

    Obama can’t handle Hillary or the media, how is he going to handle world affairs?
    This hiding from the media is unacceptable, especially when someone like McCain is so available all the time.
    This means one thing he doesn’t want to be exposed. That is bad news.
    Makes you wonder what he is trying to hide.

    April 21, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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