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. steve

    One word: WHIMP.

    April 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. Jeff

    Blizt. I think it will be a night in which Hillary will win 57% to 43%
    I also want to know if
    Gloria Borger, Jack Cafferty, Roland Martin, and about 5 others I can't remember their names are on Obama's payroll
    I want to know if anyone of these 3 jerks think Mr Obama's relationship with Wright, Ayes, Rezko are a window into his good judgment

    April 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Pat

    Obama is just worried that they're going to ask him about Larry Sinclair or Donald Young. This story is starting to catch up to him-he won't be able to outrun it!!

    April 21, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Hillary Is Our True Leader!

    Obama=Looser

    April 21, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. John Smith

    The Dems in PA can help the party by bringing this primary to a quick conclusion. That is, if they love the party and this nation over their support for Hillary. We all know who has the numbers regardless of how long this campaign goes on. Hillary's chances are so small that a vote for her is to encourage the party to continue to suffer under Hillary's need to win at all cost! This is common sense, Hillary does not have the number of (a) pledged delegates and (b) popular votes to continue without making it easy for the Republicans to win the general election. I do not hate Hillary; I love this nation and the party better than Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Dave

    After that one sided and slanted ABC debate, I don't blame him for not wanting to talk with the media. Why do anything to help the media di their work for the Clinton campaign.

    April 21, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. Joe from Virginia

    The news media manipulation is DISGUTING. They now do more tabloid report than OK magazine. No wonder I stopped watching ABC news long time ago. I thought they knew better to do a fair and balance reporting and let the people make their own decisions.

    April 21, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. jimmy vekmen

    OBAMA WILL WIN THE NOMINATION BUT WILL LOSE THE GENERAL ELECTION. CLINTON WILL REFUSE THE VP SPOT TO CANDIDATE TO OBAMA. .
    MCCAIN WILL WIN WITH ANY OF 4 PROSPECTIVE VP HE HAS
    IN HIS SHORT LIST.

    April 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. JOHN

    SMART MOVE BY OBAMA, THE MEDIA HAS TRIED TO RIP HIM UP IN THE LAST WEEK SO WHY SHOULD HE TALK THO THEM. IT WILL BE HILLARY 48% OBAMA 43% BUT IN EFFECT THATS NOT WHAT HILLARY WANTS. SHE WINS PA BUT LOSES IN. AND NC.

    April 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. The Surly Scholar

    Who wouldn't want to take a break from campaigning when just about everything you say is misinterpreted and warped by the press-vultures and used as fodder for the hideous, amoebic media-industrial complex?

    April 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. Boureima

    Wed debate was not a plaform for Americans people problems
    meaning loss of job, the war in Iraq , mortgage crisis etc .The debate was focus on Senator Obama's life.
    Shame on ABC.
    Hillary is a smart lady but going negative in this campaign has completely taken her away from goods ideas she has.
    I wont be surprised if she fails. She has to focus on real issues and avoid lies that Americans people already have from the Bush's administration.
    Senator Obama is right to stay away from these journalists who are looking for any word for him and turn it to a fire for Hillary.
    GO OBAMA

    April 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Matthew, Phila

    Ha! He has also apparently left PA for Indiana. Can't face the results in tomorrow's primary I guess. If you can't take the heat Obama....

    April 21, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. jimmy vekmen

    MCCAIN WILL BE A ONE TERM PRESIDENT BECAUSE OF HIS AGE.

    April 21, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. democrat

    Hey the media showed its true colors when they came to the defense of George and Charlie. Aside from the three or four print media who ripped the way the debate was handled the media was not critical of its brethren. Even if you argue that they had a right to ask those questions of Obama the fact that they only asked Clinton about Bosnia but not Mark Penn was a HUGE show of pro Hillary sentiment from George and Charlie. They started that debate front loaded to attack Obama in the early part of the debate which is watched by more viewers before they get bored and switch channels. Besides it's not like Obama is out of the public eye, he is out talking to voters all day long, he just chooses not to talk to the media.

    April 21, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Drew, FL

    Seems CNN is having withdrawals. Now you are harping on the man because your being ignored? Too funny. Serves you right. CNN is becoming more and more like FOX. Color me disappointed.

    April 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Ann Marie

    How does the media now feel that their "hero" is blowing them off. Almost like that campaign apeech the day after the debate in North Carolina, where he was brushing his shoulder off suggesting brushing off the Hillary Clinton remarks.. Well media guys, you must be his other shoulder. Now you will just have to make things up instead of ignoring reporting about him. Are you proud of your hero and his change and hope???

    April 21, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Kim

    I agree with the first comment, Obama is scripted and cannot handle any questioning that he didn't prepare for. Fake. That's what Obama is.

    April 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Texan

    Sen Obama has been advised by his hardcore Washington friends to keep his mouth shut for 2 days, or he will open up his mouth and tell what he has in his heart about small town Americans.

    April 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. andrew

    Why do they want an availability? I think ABC did the job, they brought back all the controversies out there, more tabloid questions? i did not know Wal-Mart offers a degree in journalism, that is where for sure a lot of those so called journalists get their education. If you go back on substance, maybe you guys will have press conferences.

    April 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Adam

    When reporter start reporting on reporters, you know they are out of touch and hoping for a continued dem. primary battle.

    April 21, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. James

    Oh yeah...he needs to focus on issues and not media biases.

    April 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. OregonVoter

    "Kathy"
    People ARE indeed starting to see the real Obama and the real Clinton and they don't like Clinton. If you think Obama is stupid you need a new definition of stupid...try looking in the mirror, especially If you think America believes anything that comes out of Hillary's mouth. Obama is not the stupid one here.

    April 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. Salaam, Lawrence KS

    Apparently, Senator Obama is just being careful, by avoiding that comments he would make might be twisted and used against him. Senator Clinton offers nothing but dirty tactics; she is carefully watching Obama, hoping that he "mis-speak" so she could run another 30-second negative ad, even if it would put her further into debt.

    April 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. disgruntled in CA

    Haha.....Obama is avoiding the media because he is probably afraid he may slip again and finally say something that could completely destroy his campaign. He has gotten luck that his die-hard supporters have ignored most of it before!

    April 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Cowboy Jack

    wow, not surprising..... avoid people who challenge you b/c being president will be much easier

    April 21, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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