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. KW

    What a shocker. Obama hates interviews and debates since people get to ask him questions that he doesn't have prescripted answers to. He loves the stump and speeches. You don't have to be a genius to figure this out.

    April 21, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. CJ

    Looks like Hillary's folks are working overtime combing the internet for opportunities to spew their garbage.

    April 21, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  3. Lois

    The ad Hillary is running in PA is just sick. It is a slap in the face to anyone how has lost a loved one because of Osama and these wars. How low can this woman go? How did she think this was a good idea? The only experience Hillary has had in the White House was being a WIFE..... not a co-president, VP, or even a consultant. I am a woman that wants a strong woman president one day but Hillary is not it!

    As for Obama I was a strong supporter of his but now I'm not so sure. His comment about small-town people bothers me. Even though he did a very good job at explaining the comment away I'm not sure I believe his explanation. The fact he isn't doing one interview before PA seems weird to me. Yes, the media can be hard to deal with but it is something a president MUST deal with everyday.

    I will vote for Obama in the primary and the election..... unless is the election there is a strong independent. I do be as of right now Obama is the best choice.

    PS Start farming ... With ethanol we will go back to an agriculture society. I'm not saying it will be bad just a change... unless they start outsourcing corn 🙂

    April 21, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. K

    Obama is so arrogant. I cannot take 4 years of his arrogant finger waving. Obama supporters are so naive and ignorant. If I was hiring a CEO to run my company, I would select the most arrogant, inexperienced person to run it. Get a clue people.

    April 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Venus

    Seems like the media is tried of Hillary and Mc Cain!
    Seems like the media is looking for new NEWS! Way to go Obama!
    Let them know that you don't work for them!
    Yeah – let the media also know about the word "Change"!
    It's not about the news – it's about you and they can't stand it!
    I look forward when they have to cover you when you become president!

    April 21, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. JWR

    Obama doesn't need to talk to the press; they're already unabashedly campaigning for him, so why should he waste his time?

    April 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Antoinette

    Well....He is running for President and he is busy

    This is the day before the PA primary

    What do you want the man to do? Seriously. He is trying to hold town halls to meet with folks about the issues and hold rally's and address his message

    He doesnt have time to talk to people who twist words. He'd rather get his word out to the people

    April 21, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. Chris - Pennsylvania voter

    WHY!? Because he's affraid to give REAL ANSWERS!?

    April 21, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Jane

    If Senator Obama is avoiding the media, it must be because he wants no tough questions, and that's not good for us. He has also declined a NC debate. We don't need a speech-giver and a crowd-pleaser; we need a competent president!

    April 21, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Venus

    It meant to add-- imagine that – no news about Obama makes news! The media needs to report other news! Every time they hijack our attention – gas seems to go up .17cents in one week! Or we lose another troop!

    April 21, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Marie

    I am starting to see a pattern here and I think Mr. Obama's campaign mgr knows that he needs to limit himself. Mr. Obama has now made a third statement that he has had to pull back and say “what he meant was…” His last statement was a real winner. I wonder how many children who have been born to teenage mothers feel as though they are a punishment to their mothers and on top of that what message is he sending to all the children/people whose teenage mothers chose to take on their responsibility and bring them into the world – that they are a punishment and better off dead? This man can talk the talk all he wants about HOPE but this man can't even see how a teenage mother bringing her child into the world is not only a great act of courage but it is a huge act of HOPE & here our potential Democratic candidate says that he would not want his teenage daughter to be "punished by a baby". Nice. The man has no idea what he’s saying and because he's feeling confident that he’s going to win this election he is slipping up and his true thoughts/opinjons are coming out – accidentally. I think a lot of his supporters do not want to admit it because they don’t want to feel duped like the people who supported President Bush, Jr. feel now.

    April 21, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    No wonder! Without a script he is more boring and mistake prone than in the fraudulent image created by the liberal "Messiah."'s handlers. Already, in the heat of the campaign, he has begun campainging and talking like the typical political hack he wasn't supposed to be.

    April 21, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Christine

    The traveling press are the ones that are on the plane or bus with him every day of this primary.

    Senator Clinton has a traveling press corps and I'm sure John McCain does as well.

    April 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. maryland

    Hillary seems to be enjoying all the attention the media is giving her at the last minute. I was a clinton's support but she has totally turned me off completely with her lies. I have never seen any one who can lie with a straight face like she does. It is almost painful to watch sometimes.

    April 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. Marie

    In addition to the controversial statements that Mr. Obama has been making lately, he also has quite an interesting crowd of friends. Hasn’t anyone heard of the old phrase, “birds of a feather, flock together”? Let’s face it, let’s take a look at Mr. Obama’s close friends, first there’s the Chicago slumlord, then there’s controversial pastor who is pushing all these conspiracy theories (it’s one thing to have such theories, it’s another thing to be spewing hate talk from your mouth to your parishioners when you are suppose to be inspiring them with God's love) and now we know for a fact, it’s not media hyperbole, that Mr. Obama is “close friends” with a known terrorist, Bill Ayers from The Weather Underground, who has admitted to having NO REMORSE over what he was trying to do 40 years ago. Mr. Obama can try to underestimate the American intelligence but I don’t care if Mr. Obama was 8 years old or not; the bottom line is, if the man has no remorse than he would do it all over again regardless of how much time has gone by and Mr. Obama should be more discerning of the friends he keeps.

    April 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. Susie

    Can't let him answer any questions; maybe someone will write a speech for him . Why do all his supporters not see that he is a phony? There must be some subliminal message in all those arrogant movements of his fingers.

    April 21, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  17. Troy,Charlotte NC

    All he is doing now is staying under the radar. The less questions he answers the better for him. Why do you think he likes to give speches so much. Can't give Americans real answers.

    Good luck with that in a general election. He can't win!!!!

    Give us a chance Vote Clinton/Edwards.

    April 21, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. MyObama

    The poor media, half the time you don't cover anything relevent anyway. You just want sound bites and when you don't get them, you don't know what to do with yourself. Get over it!

    April 21, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. Goody - Oregon 4 Hillary

    Of course Obama avoids the media. He doesn't want anymore flaws to be discovered. The more we learn, the more concerned I am about our security! It's no wonder Hamas wants Obama to win.

    April 21, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. liz

    Is Obama afraid that he may slip up and say something that he may regret? I suppose he wants to make sure he does not put his foot in his mouth. He is really someone's puppet and he is only allowed to speak to the media when he is allowed. I would really like to know who is pulling his strings. Got to be someone who is throwing his or her money into his campaign. I wonder who that is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope when all of this is over we don't hear that some illegal happenings went on in his campaign.

    Anyway, money does not always buy what you want. Clinton, I am behind you 100%.

    April 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. Donald from SC

    I guess America is too smart to be fooled by the press. First you say he is always in the press. Now, you are saying he is avoiding the press. I don't recall seeing Senator Clinton making any press conferences either. No, that wouldn't be fair because the BLACK man still needs to prove himself in everything he does. Wait wait I meant to say, that it is okay for Hilliary to have women for hillary on her website and that is not sexist. While don't you dare mention any minority to support Obama and that would be using the race card. Huum, I'll just stick to the cnadidates are busy trying get the last votes they can and don't want to spend any time catering to the press. Nope! That makes too much sense.

    April 21, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  22. liv

    Is Obama in hiding, or is he tired? he has to take more than this if he wants to perform as president......

    April 21, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. Ron


    April 21, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA



    April 21, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. Y in PA

    He would much rather speak to the people rather than the press. The reporters distort words, find criticism and obsess on the negative. The people listen and think..

    April 21, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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