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. Danny

    Obama flip-flop that's why he want to aviods the media. Oh.....I think he want to talk to John Kerry first talk to the media. Go away William Ayers and Obama.

    April 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. MyMy

    Is this the behavior we should expect from a man who says he's ready to lead the greatest nation in the world? I don't think so. If Senator Obama isn't willing to face the press, how's he ever going to be able to face adverserial leaders?

    This convinces me even further that Senator Obama is not yet ready to be President.

    April 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. ROCHELLE BRADFORD

    I say good for him! The media has shown their distaste for the African American People and are seemingly so afraid that this black man just might win this election, now they are trying to drag him in dirt, doodoo and anything they can to make Senator Clinton win the Primary so that McCain can beat the mess out of her. She is a BIG LIER and does not care how she wins even if it takes the Democratic Party down and the people of the United States and McCain is the same way. After all she herself said that she and McCain are very good friends.

    Give me a break! Barak will win and even tho I am white I am happy that it will happen.

    Rochelle
    Redan, GA

    April 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Danny

    Obama flip-flop that's why he want to aviods the media. Oh.....I think he want to talk to John Kerry first before talk to the media. Go away William Ayers and Obama.

    April 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. ho tc

    I'm so glad that CNN starts reporting news that don't favor Obama.

    April 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Jackson

    does he plan to be a dictator? ... he is so full of himself!!!

    Hillary '08

    April 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Julie

    Hey... it works for Chelsea Clinton, so why not for Sen. Obama. Chelsea"s out their stumping for Hillary just like Bill and the rest of her surrogates, yet the press has always been off limits. She NEVER has to answer ANY questions from the press.

    Considering the horrible job ABC did with that so-called debate, and the ever-evolving media spin and hype, it would probably be a good idea if mainstream media just stayed the flock out of the campaigns altogether.

    April 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. JCL, Kentucky

    Gee, even George W Bush didn't start hiding from the press until AFTER the general election.

    So much for bringing back transparency to politics...

    April 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. carlo

    He's avoiding the media because the media is on a witchhunt. They are desperate to twist some more of his words up. It's amusing that the media bashes him unmercifully, then wonders why he doesn't want to talk. Just mind-boggling.

    April 21, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Grif

    He's so scared to his own Ghost....

    April 21, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. gerard morei

    Is he affraid to say something that is in the closet right now?

    April 21, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Stephanie

    I am sure he is not "avoiding" the media; however, I am amazed that he has given the media as much time as he has. It's a shame how brutal and actually cruel you guys can be. You literally "murder" whomever you do not like or agree with. You are supposed to report the facts and NOT give your opinions or try to speak for "the American People". Lou Dobbs is the worst when it comes to this. Although I watch, I really dread doing so because its so much work to have to sift between the real facts LESS the opinions and comments you guys make. Thank God for a sound mind!

    April 21, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. MP-Pennsylvania

    I live in a small town pennsylvania and our local news paper said they will stop publishing readers letters on election a week before the primary . And since then they had coloumists writing attacking OBAMA daily. And front page with clintons pictures for last three days. I am going to stop buying this news paper. We will not tolerate biased media.

    OBAMA has to talk to people. Not the media all the time. He doesnt have the name recognition like clintons. And media twist his words.

    Bitter middle age woman for OBAMA in a small town PA

    April 21, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. The Dude

    Let's not forget Obama's going to be on the Daily Show tonight. Sorry, professional journalists, Jon Stewart is better than you.

    ANYONE BUT MCCAIN '08!

    April 21, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. Vig

    Obama is one arrogant guy.

    April 21, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Shane

    WAIT AND SEE HIM RUN FROM DIGNITARIES, WHEN HE MEETS WITH IRAN

    April 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. JMO

    Kathy's got it right – he needs someone to tell him what to say! Or he needs to know ahead of time what the questions will be to make sure he gives the right answer. Sounds like George W to me. Please let's not get another naive person with no common sense in the white house.

    GO HILLARY GO

    Rise Hillary Rise

    April 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Eric Jimenez

    Its about time someone plays some jokes on the media, they deserve it. They look for anything to twist. I love the fact they have the media waiting in a room and then say the jokes on you jack. The media deserves it throw back at them for a change... Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. Noah

    The media can not twist Obama's words if the words he speak are the truth. Obama is avoiding the press because he knows he will be asked why he supported handgun control in 96, then lied about it Wednesday, they will ask him why he claimed to not have a relationship with Ayers, even though Ayers held Obama's kick-off campaign party for the state Senate in his home, or they might ask him to explain his really bad performance on policy issues in last week's debate.

    PA voters should look at all this and then cast a vote for the most experianced person that will make change in Washington and this country. That is Hillary Clinton. She will be the stronger candidate in Novemeber. PA voters need to consider who can really win the White House back. Obama is unknown and has many questions surrounding him, he refuses to answer. The republicans will make him answer. Vote Clinton.

    April 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Neil

    The travelling media does not deserve to get any more time with Obama than they already have.

    If they did their job at REPORTING THE NEWS, as opposed to MAKING THE NEWS, perhaps they'd get more time.

    As Obama told the media at his speech to the AP a few days back, "You feed on controversy. You feed on conflict."

    The media may be bitter about being ignored by the next President of the USA, but they have brought this upon themselves.

    April 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Eric

    Its about time someone plays some jokes on the media, they deserve it. They look for anything to twist. I love the fact they have the media waiting in a room and then say the jokes on you jack. The media deserves it throw back at them for a change… Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Donny Ott

    I totally agree with Kathy's comments. Obama is an empty suit, with soaring rhetoric that he prefers to recite at rallys before his adoring fans who let him go unchallenged . Every time he tries to answer questions about substantive policy - and do so unscripted - he reveals his total lack of readiness to run this country.

    This game has worked for him thus far, but it's going to hurt all of us in the end. How much longer is he going to hide behind speeches and fluff interviews? I am beyond tired of these sorts of tactics.

    Just say no to Obama.

    April 21, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Ken Austin, TX

    Nice job Barack! That's the way to NOT give the media anything that they could possibly twist. Don't want to get their panties in a knot.

    April 21, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. Hayden

    Because Obama knows they will expose him as the fraud he really is....

    Hillary's right " If you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen!"

    April 21, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. Independent in DC

    The press wants an interview and there not gettin it, boo hoo...cry me a river.

    April 21, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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