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. bobb dobbs

    He's like Apollo Creed shouting "No rematch, no rematch!" after his bout with Rocky Balboa.

    April 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Patty

    He could be hiding to avoid questions about his participation in the Million Man March, Ayers and Rev Wright who after his sermons about white people will be living in a 10,000 sq ft home on a golf course surrounded by predominately white people. He has an underlying agenda for the African American people against the white people. That is what we should be wary of. Read Michele's thesis, listen to his speeches at the million Man March and with Ayers. Wake up America.

    April 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. rustedspear

    Obama's response to clinton's bin laden ad was weak.

    this is what he should say....

    In times of trial and peril. the bedrock of american strength lies in our founding principles, in our constitution, bill of rights, declaration of independence.

    What we need in a president is one who will protect our constitution, keep our country united in times of peril and relentless pursue our true enemies without the distraction of partisan bickering, or kowtowing to special interests. We need a president who serves no party but the american people...

    April 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. TeamObama

    It's a stressful time people, 15 months of hard campaigning against THE CLINTONS can take its toll.I know i'm sick of the whole thing!

    April 21, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Misty

    This is for Kathy

    The True Obama is a good decent man- Unlike McCain or Hillary. He does not use fear tactics- Bin Ladin TV add or Lies. He does have a family which he truly cares about and after working tirelessly to rally support he need to rest up– He does not short change people– JUST the Press (which is completely incompetent)– who do not care about Iraq, healthcare or US economy but- "Bitter", she said === he said.

    So be at peace and may the Best MAN win–

    April 21, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Linda Feldman

    The more people see the true Obama the more they like him. Big mistake not meeting with the press. McCain has a lot of good will stored up because he has been available to the press for 8 years. Let's not take our eye off of the real goal.

    April 21, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. BNS

    OK – First of all --

    It's biased coverage. "BIASED" with an -ed, which turns the noun into an adjective.

    Secondly -

    "Biased coverage" is not a proper noun. So there is no need for the capital letters, except for the capital "B" in my sentence above because it is the first word of the sentence.

    I thought Obama's people were the ones with educations.

    April 21, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. female grad student, NYC

    and may the best woman win...

    April 21, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Kenneth M


    April 21, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. dallasiteforhillary

    He can't afford to say something Bitter to make his rating plummet. He is an elitist snob!

    April 21, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Ralph V.

    I don't blaim Obama for not talking to the media. They're always looking for trash to make up.

    Common PA's wake up! I hope you guys/ladies are smarter that your appear. You need to see through the puff & stuff politics of the Clintons. We need a leader that acctually has leadership talent to motivate and change the same politics that have been turning this county into a second rate nation.

    Go Obama!

    April 21, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. pakuna

    The only lies the Media prints come from Obama's own big mouth. The reason Hillry is on CNN news is because Obama is hiding again. When the going gets tough Obama seems to hide. Can you see him in the White House saying oh the press is treating me so-o-o badly lock the doors I don't want to see or talk to anyone that matters. Wake up people.
    I agree it is disgusting. Obama is a coward and a lier. He gets everyone else to do his dirty work.

    April 21, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Allison R.

    Good for him! I'm sick of the media telling us what to think and who to vote for and twisting everyone's words!
    After the last "debate", I've lost what little bit of respect I had left for the media...

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

    no obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. JJ from Arizona

    Everyone thinks he doesn't want to answer tough questions. It's that he doesn't want to answer stupid questions. For the moderators to bring up an issue like Wright where they hashed it out for weeks and Obama gave a speech devoted to addressing this topic, what more can he say? Seriously how many people do you really think noticed and/or cared that he wasn't wearing a flag pin? 45min of a 2hr debate people! If anything that debate should make people want to vote for him. He's right that Washington spends too much time on nothing.

    April 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. LauraINDem

    After his miserable performance at last weeks debate, no wonder he is keeping his mouth shut. He can't say anything that hasn't been pre written for him.

    April 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Lisa

    See that's exactly why he shouldn't become the President! Missing In Action!!!!

    April 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Ragshaw Urquhart

    Of course, it is much easier to give motivational speeches without any specifics to cult following college students rather than answer any hard questions when you know you are going to lose PA anyway.

    April 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. OZ

    No need in feeding the network sharks. Everyone is hip to the game the media has been playing. This thing has been one big game of "your moma she so fat", thanks to the press. What a waste of time and insult to people needing encouragement about their futures.

    April 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    I don't blame him! The press is absolutely disgusting when it comes to reporting...."truth" is unheard of with the press....equally unheard of is "complete context". They just like to take a soundbite and twist it obscenely.

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

    Its so very typical that this year the Democrats destroyed each other; when either of them could have won the White House. Thank you Democrats. Thank you for giving us President McCain!! Perhaps next time the Democrats will do what is right, and not disenfranchise Florida and Michigan. But then again, what better gift is there than Barack Obama. Republicans could not have asked for a better spokesman. With his ties to home grown terrorists, racist churches, anti American statements, and a wife who was never proud of the USA; I hope they send Obama a fruit basket thanking him!
    Mc Cain '08 !!

    April 21, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. dallasiteforhillary

    Hope the media wises up about this man. He is a farse and a liar! Look how repays you all for all of your positive coverage.

    April 21, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. ken levy

    Since the ABC debate last week he is afraid.He has the closet full of Rev.Wright's and lots more.We are only now finding out about this man.He has said that he won't debate Hillary anymore.The American people want to know more about this man.Why is he afraid to answer the media questions??? Don't you as a voter want to know???
    Its a matter of trust. Frankly,I don't trust a man who hides from the media,and his past.

    April 21, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA


    April 21, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. American Girl

    I do not blame him... talk to the people and not the twisted media!

    No matter what he or Hillary says, the media keeps the crap going.

    Go Barack – Talk to Your Country – Not the biased controversial media with no good news to report on anything.

    Watch the news... You would think everything is bad in the world!

    April 21, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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