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. Beverly Williams

    Could it be he's just sick and tired of media manipulations??????

    April 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Wingit

    Pennsylvannia was the last high priced media market in the closing weeks of the primary campaign. After Tuesday, the interest of the press will start to diminish. I wonder how many reporters are getting prepared to cover the Montana primary. Certainly not the same as PA. Right now the MSM is trying to get a word to twist or misread a sentence to try and create some sort of "scoop" that they can attach their name and their company name to. I don't blame Obama for letting the press stew for a while. The MSM should contact him only when they are prepared to do some honest reporting.

    April 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. V Independent

    Most of you sound like republicans downing both senators.

    April 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Democrates


    Your candidate is broke, owe people money, lies all the time and now is putting up fear tactic ads. But somehow you can find the time to bad mouth Obama. Get over your bias feelings and wake up. Hillary is a train wreck with her own campaign and you think voters will turn over the government to her. Please stop letting your ignorance show.

    April 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. Deb, IN

    This is not someone I want in the White House!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Nanc, MN

    Hmmmm, reminds me of the old "you can run, but you can't hide"! However, I loved his little "Why can't I just eat my waffle" when a reporter asked him a question this am. If you want your breakfast in privacy, it's called room service.

    April 21, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Jean


    April 21, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. JTomorrow

    He doesn't want them to ask him why he gave Hillary the finger. It's on youtube.com

    April 21, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Veterans for Obama

    Good Luck tomorrow Barack...we can't wait till you clinch this thing!

    April 21, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. matthew

    what is Obama hiding? why won't he meet with reporters?

    April 21, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Marge Hibbing Mn

    I wish he would avoid the whole country and shoot himself to the moon. Maybe then this country wouldn't be so divided. He is giving the presidency to the republicans. He has done more to disrupt and tear up this country than bush ever dared. Maybe some day he will get his just reward for doing this.

    April 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Devin

    What are you afraid of Barry??? The media (finally) asks some tough questions so they are banished?

    April 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  13. Julie M

    He will but only if he knows the questions and answers before hand.

    What is the democratic party thinking?

    April 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. stephanie

    He is afraid media to ask about his recent negative tone in his speech. He also afraid the questions why he can't answer the questions in the debate.

    April 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. Abraham

    I do believe in him and the message of hope he represents for USA and the whole world.
    There are a lot of "deinformation" going on around his sayings, quotes and I'm sad to see that.
    Could'nt we be fair in politics too ? Why don't we debate about ideas to improove everday life instead of candidates privates lifes !!

    April 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. susie for Obama


    April 21, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. don't vote your fears, vote your dreams

    The media treats him like we've seen on the last debate and then wonders why he isn't all enthusiastic about making himself available to them ...... ???

    April 21, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. ds

    I'm surprised any candidate opens their mouth with the way things have been taken out of context lately. Shame on the media this year.

    April 21, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. MD Democrat

    Obama is running scared but still arrogant. He knows that he upset the people of Pennsylvania and is not willing to apologize. That is why he is dodging the media. He refuses to own up to his cheap shots and insults.

    April 21, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Peachy Keen

    Aw gee Chris Welch, are your feelings hurt? Poor CNN. Why isn't Obama at our beck and call. Could it be that whenever he does talk to you, you twist his words. You have Billary on Larry King today, isn't that enough. Her lies should give you enough fodder for a couple more days.

    Sniffle, sniffle Chris.

    April 21, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Anna

    I agree PA Democrat ,I am 62 and for first time since JF Kennedy ran when I was but 15 years old have I really been excited about a candidate running , I feel change coming on not because he is biracial which I am but because he is bringing about a change,and all that rubbish about " he is not experienced as Hillary" what I say about that is pooch pooch ,prehaps he is not as old or experienced as she but I know he has enough sense to surround himself with strong people who are .I don;t understand the fear tactics .Obama would not had gone this far had he not have strong sensible people as advisors not so Hillary who is listening to Bill and (devil and his noise )it's a Creole term my mom used to say )it's really funny when you say it in French Creole lol and so when he is president he'll do fine. As for the beast the news media I have lost respect for them not just for what is going on now but just about everything they are only interested in ratings not about fairness.

    April 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Joyce-Houston

    Obama is a very smart and brilliant man it is time he take a break from the media you are right PA DEMOCRAT they take Obama words and twist them to mean the opposite Now hilliary is asking for a debate in North Carolina Obma don't have to do another debate 22 is enough.
    I lost all respect for the Clintons because they are the ones who are destroying the Democratic party and John Mccain is just enjoying the fights that Hilliary keep causing.
    Hilliary is power hunger and it is not about the American people it is all about her,SHAME,SHAME,SHAME on Hiliiary Clinton.
    GO OBAMA GO!!!!!!
    Obama gave an excellent PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH that no other candidate ever dared to address

    April 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. SharonR

    And if he did become president you would never hear from him. he thinks he that important.

    April 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Hillary has serious issues

    When Hillary can only remain in the news cycle by negative campaigning and the "media" uses these "newsworthy" items for Q&A, who can blame him? With no money, Hillary cannot remain relevant any other way, because she has nothing positive or new to say that can gain traction. If anyone's been following, that's been the core of her campaign post-Super Tuesday. Is that leadership?

    April 21, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. Brenda


    I'm with YOU ... do NOT speak with the media! They will easily twist the words you say and the Clintons will definitely change them around!

    OBAMA for President!

    April 21, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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