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. typical whitey in st loui

    Poor, Poor Pitiful Obama. He needs all his energy and focus to campaign don't you know. He must not risk by answering with a lie or without Hillary beside him to "agree".

    Go away you arrogant racist.

    April 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. jimbo

    Obama must crawl under a rock – he isn't good enough to be a jr. senator.

    April 21, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. Hudson County NJ

    I am sorry to report...

    Obama's liberal voting record and silver tongue is turning this life long democrat into a republican.

    Will someone please tell him he is running for President of the USA, not prom king.

    April 21, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. Johnny Ray Paul

    Atleast he is man enough to stand for what he says and apologizes when hes wrong. To all the Obama hatters in here, your just like Hillary. Liers. Wouldn't know the truth if it bit ya. She can't even raise enough money to fund her campain. Her nasty attitude and jack up ways are why the majority of us and the world are sick of good ole boy/girl white-power politics in America. it only represents one small segment of America. Time to stand up for everyone even you people.

    April 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. donna4hillary

    an open letter to the good citizens of the United States of America:
    You are entitled and have the right to know everything that you possibly can about the person that you would want to be your President. If the media tries to "dig up the dirt" on Hillary or Obama, then let them, or do the research yourself. You can not give the job to someone based on what your heart says or what your gut feeling is. once this person is in office, you will not be able to get them out. you can not fire them. please please get to KNOW who obama really is and get to KNOW who hillary really is. you WILL be glad that you did. thank you.

    April 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. jimbo

    REMEMBER – he uses other speeches and reads from a teleprompter. He's run out of "just words".

    April 21, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Get Real

    Obama is starting to unravel. He can't get in front of the press because he might "mangle" some more words. Not a good idea just before the vote. His peeps have made a strategic move to keep him out of the press' range so he doesn't risk his closing margin.

    April 21, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. B.NYC

    Senator Obama!
    I can not wait to NOT vote for him.

    No way is this guy ready...

    April 21, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Angela

    Why is he paying the media to follow him around if he won't answer their questions? He knows that when he doesn't follow a script, he makes a mess of things and can't afford to do that before PA. There was a story earlier that he wouldn't answer a question because he was eating a waffle?

    April 21, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. donna4hillary

    can someone please tell me about the change that obama says this country needs? i only know that he really thinks change is in order but he has never said what he means by that. i kinda dont like that he keeps talking about hope because it sounds as if we, the people, do not have any, never did and only he can see to it that we can have hope. that makes me feel like a loser in every aspect of my life. kinda like theres never been a reason for me to have any hope until he came along. just my opinion.

    April 21, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. John Smith

    When I hear people say, "we need Hillary to turn this economy around," my stomach grinds! Do these people think that "all the conditions" that were present during the Clinton years (including getting Gore back as VP, and a Repulican House/Senate) will be back if Hillary were to be president? This is so sad!! Bill has helped ship all the jobs of the 90's overseas; no Clinton will ever bring back those jobs. The Clintons had this planned all along; now they are making the benefits from those past deals that they made ($109 million came from where?). The Clintons will only make more deals, if anyone ever gets them back to that White House. How stupid can some people be amazes me everyday!!

    April 21, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. Emma CA

    Wow, you Obama haters, you are quite the opportunists, ready and eager to drag Obama through the mud. Your criticisms do not appear to be based on his policies, his grasp of the constitution, his ability to
    connect well with Americans and his remarkable ability to make sense of
    issues and solutions.

    April 21, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. Robert

    Gee, is it possible the guy just has a cold...or some allergies? Or maybe he has a few last minute things to do before a HUGE primary, like making sure his supporters get to the polls? You guys act like he's been holed up in a cave for the last 15 months and no one has asked him anything.

    April 21, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Daniel, Loganville. Ga.

    Why should he? With your fair and unbiased reporting You will only twist his words or take them out of context. GO OBAMA!! Focus on the task as hand

    April 21, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Eugene Markelli

    Is it any wonder given how the press corps conducted themselves before Ohio and Texas when they recklessly stirred up controversy in the final days before the election, depriving both the candidate time to respond to the charge and the voters time to consider the new information. It's not about the press corps!!!, there is nothing they should be reporting now, 48 hours before the election, that they have not reported in the last seven weeks. They need to back off now and let the voters of Pennsylvania decide without any eleventh hour interference!

    April 21, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. Olivia

    Well, he does suffer from foot and mouth disease. Don't forget, he's the guy that voted PRESENT many times in the senate. He's the guy that was walking in Hillary's footsteps earlier in the race so as not to misstep. He is the "bitter" guy. His campaign has to put him in wraps so that his arrogance and cockiness doesn't get the better of him. They are being super cautious.

    What a jerk!

    April 21, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. Not Available or Busy

    Uh, I'm thinking Barack may be just a little busy. He is up against hourly personal attacks from Hillary. He is campaigning against the entrenched old school Democrats in Pennsylavania like Randell and Nutter. Then there is Hillary Clinton herself as well as Bill Clinton and sweet little old Chelsea Clinton who took SNIPER FIRE herself but can't take questions from the press. AND he has closed the gap considerably. Good grief now the press is whinning about no time with him.

    Remember Obama doesn't have to win PA...I would love it if he did but he is not the one with that expectation. Hillary needs to win by a sizeable double digit...if Obama loses by 5 or less points he is a huge winner.

    April 21, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Sharon Minnesota

    middle-aged american and ratgurl must have mated and come up with the same add campaign.

    Time is on our side even if CNN isn't.

    Go Hillary

    April 21, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. NickNas

    ALL you need to know about the difference in Hillarys supporters and Obamas supporters is right there before you.

    We talk the talk as he does and back it up with facts.

    AND he has 46 MILLION in the bank of OUR money because we believe in our cause and our candidate and sacrifice to help him and our country.

    THEY TALK TALK TALK TALK and she is BROKE! She Lies and her people pretend ( I say pretend because NO ONE is this stupid) that the Videos and recordings and testimony of people who actually KNOW them and have WORKED with them are reality.

    Even Hillary and Bill won't loan themselves any more Money.

    SO I ask WHERE IS THE BEEF all of you Hillabots??? I am Broke as hell right now but even I give to Obama. What is YOUR excuse??? Huh??? We are REALLY Waiting.........Seriously.

    Now who is all talk and no action?

    April 21, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. ramona in Ohio

    Let's revisit Barack's NAFTA GATE. Barack's surrogates met with Canadian Government officials to tell them not to take his speeches to the voters about NAFTA seriously. Barack lied and said there were no meetings; later admitted there were. Fast Forward – 3 amigos, all presidents of US, Canada, and Mexico meeting about NAFTA to get around the voters in their respective countries. Subverting The Democratic Process. Now should RED FLAGS go up about Barack's NAFTA Gate? Will he slip into Bush's spot and continue the "three amigos" meetings. Think! Why would a presidential candidate meet with a foreign power?

    April 21, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. josh good NYC

    Obama is also afraid to debate in NC and Indiana. Obama is a real joker. I think Obama should give it up and just go back to being the Blackeyed Peas lead singer.

    April 21, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Honest

    Obama is a very smart guy, he would not do that without any good and genuine reasons. Media is a fraud!

    April 21, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Krystyna

    To all Obama supporters !!!!!
    You are beeing pulled be Obama's speaches and beeing likable by younger generation, but he is unable to do any changes, it's just the
    speach, talk about the change. I feel so sorry for all of Obama's supporters. The language, and the comments are out of lavel . It;s hard to read such a teksts and I feel, if his supporters are that way, then the Country will have even more problems then ever.
    We need smart, experienced, hard working person in the White House.
    Clintons had a chance to show IT !!!!!! I will support the Candidate, who proved that will work hard !!!!! HILLARY IS THE BEST CANDIDATE !!!!!

    April 21, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. PilotLight

    Change change change.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    McCain and Clinton have decades of experience dealing with political free-for-alls.

    Obama has speech writers and a mantra that sounds like a brain-washing record that keeps skipping.

    See the difference?

    April 21, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. McBomb

    ======billary leave our country alone======
    =======they would put this great nation on sale to china===

    no more liars in the WH

    April 21, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12