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. myrlande

    do not say a word. God wiff fight your battle. I just read micheal moore letter. I just admired you more 300% for showing respect for a person that have no integraty.

    April 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Laura

    obama only speaks to friendly media, those who won't be too hard on him. how is he ever going to handle the republicans?

    April 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Sherri

    Hillary has gone too far with her recent adds. She is mongering fear. She is playing the Republican role. She is shameful.

    Barack is intelligent, thoughtful and so very ready to lead this country.

    I hope that the people of Pennsylvana will see through her horrible campaign tactics and vote for Barack Obama.

    April 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. That's Reality

    Doesn't vote,
    doesn't answer questions,
    doesn't qualify for President.

    April 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. LG

    All I can say is that God Forbid Obama gets elected, all of you people that think you are so smart will see the truth !! He has nothing to offer !!

    April 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Marie Casey

    Hillary Clinton complained so much about how she was treated in earlier debates that Saturday Night live did a skit about it! Now she say's Barack Obama can't handle the heat! Give me a break!

    Bill and Hillary Clinton have condemed the right for using fear to get votes and now she is doing the exact same thing!

    Hillary Clinton has said so many stupid things it's mind boggling. On CNN last night when she said that George Bush and Dick Cheney are good men!

    There is nothing that this women will not do to try and destory Barack Obama!

    April 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Chris

    Of course Obama's hiding in the weeds! The press might ask him about Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright, Small Town America, religion, about guns! Or about any new juicy items that might pop up. He seems to have an endless treasure trove of skeletons in his closet. It's like a visit to a spooky house at a theme park! Who knows what's going to pop up next!

    Plus he's not exactly winning Pennsylvania and has lost three out of the five last primaries too! He's down against McCain in national polls and Clinton is beating him in the electoral vote, catching up in the popular vote (within 0.6% if you count all states) and beating him in the accumulation of superdelegates (picking up 3 new ones this week!). Not to mention he miserably lost in that last debate...

    April 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. LG

    I think it is pathetic that you don't post all comments. just pick and choose them. free press for all !!!! That's why you are falling in the ratings !!!

    April 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Buckman

    People are you paying attention? Is it coincidence that the story broke that Clinton had ties to terrorists, that the very wing newspaper the same one that was instrument in pushing for impeachement of Bill Clinton is now endorsing her. This gives further credence to the belief that the Republicans want to run against Hillary.

    Obama have been kind to her and probably could bring out a lot. Maybe that is why people are recommending that she quit now before the Republicans tear her apart.

    All of this is only speculation but it may also be accurate. I know that some conservative radio host have encouraged Republicans to vote for Clinton when possible.

    April 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Jason

    Candidate Clinton hasn't held a media avail in a week either. Clinton has been ducking the media so she doesn't have to answer for her dimissive comment about southern whites at camp david reported by the huffington post.

    Candidate Clinton doesn't have to answer for voting to confiscate guns while trying to portray herself as pro second amendment.

    April 21, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama is not avoiding the media, he is strategizing. The media's only concern is how his strategy will affect them.

    April 21, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. HP Boston

    What a wuss, crybaby, coward! We do not need this guy in office any where, enlist Obama Uncle SAM needs you to go find Bin Laden, you even look like him, infiltrate his camp. It is time you made yourself useful!!

    April 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Karen in Cape Cod

    Gee...what a shock...Obama doesn't want to answer media questions.

    April 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. sharon

    Obama isn't speaking because he can' t seem to say anything intelligent...he can' afford any further remarks thaat belittle the average working person, someone on his staff his wisely recommended that he NOT make any further statements before he places himself in a worse position than he is already in....and who he really is.

    April 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Gee....since when was the MEDIA the story? C'mon CNN, stop inserting yourself into the process. If there is a compelling issue, investigate it like responsible journalists. If all you want is access....stop whining!

    April 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Dianne

    Obama's people are wise in keeping him away from the press. When he can't speak from a script, he exposes his ineptness.

    April 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. Steven - Salt Lake City, Utah

    Now the media is whining too!?!
    How many interviews has he done over the last week? I know I've seen him on Colbert, Real Sports with Bryan Gumble, CNN and he's on John Stewart, RAW, and another show tonight..... I think it's much more important that he is meeting with the local media (which he has been) than providing a press conference to the national press corps. There will be plenty of time for interviews with the rest of the media. Give the guy a break. I applaud him for not meeting with the media to provide more fodder for the back and forth media game between the his camp and Hillary's camp.

    Can it be November already?

    April 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Marc

    Do you think you can avoid the Press if you were in the White House? Gutless.

    April 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. ChrisD

    Barack can only give speeches; that's it. He is to scared to talk or answer any questions the media might have for him. He's a joke. Hillary '08

    April 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Media is bias

    It's a shame that the media supports Hillary and plays all her fake and false attacks and make people believe that it's true. It's a shame that it's happening in AMerica. If Hillary wins, America will be a third world country in 2020. She just cares about herself, her ego to win, she never cares about the AMerican people. She just says anything & does anything, just to win the votes, even if it includes lying to the American people straight at their face. for people that say Clintons dont lie, just got back 8 years "I never had sexual relations with that women", He lied in the court. Are people really crazy to still support Clintons ? Give me a break ... senior citizens why are u supporting the clintons ? can't u do a favor for us younger generations, we deserve a honest President. We deserve President Obama.

    April 21, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. dEMOBRAT

    It's starting to look like my prediction of the media's love affair for Obama going sour is coming true. That's right Obama, don't talk to those reporters-–their evil!

    April 21, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Chris From Cali

    After the last debate, I guess I might hide too. I understand Barack Obama is now backing out of another debate. If he cannot handle a debate, he certainly will not be able to handle the Presidency.

    April 21, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. Lydia

    With every word coming out of his mouth dissected ad nauseum, he should not speak. The press has proven they cannot be trusted.

    I would not trust the piranhas!

    April 21, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. ML Holmes in OKC

    Senator Obama does not like to answer hard questions about his chief fundraiser Rezko, his mentor, Dr. Wright or his friend, Bill Ayers and questions about character. His messages of hope and change are bogus, just pretty speeches.

    April 21, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. mitch from ark.

    your out of touch and rude kathy.the same reason hillary won't win!

    April 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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