August 24th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN forces Obama to release VP pick early

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CNN’s reporting forced the Obama campaign to scrap its original plan.
CNN’s reporting forced the Obama campaign to scrap its original plan.

DENVER (CNN) – Barack Obama planned to name Joe Biden as his running mate by text message at 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning, but was forced to move up the announcement when CNN broke the story after midnight, a senior Obama official said.

At 12:42 a.m. ET, CNN reported that Obama had picked Biden to join him on the ticket. Several other news organizations confirmed the CNN report shortly afterwards.

“Had a certain network not blown our cover at a certain time the text message would have gone out in the morning, 8 a.m. Eastern,” Robert Gibbs, a senior advisor, said with a grin on Sunday. “We told people they would find out from us. When we decided it was going to get out we decided to send the text out.”

Gibbs said he believes despite the fact that the rollout plan had to be altered, a “vast majority of the people” still learned by text message when they woke up in the morning.

Some Republicans and others suggested that Obama’s 3 a.m. ET email had been intended as a deliberate swipe at Hillary Clinton, who ran a primary season ad that referenced that hour of the morning to make the case she was more qualified to handle a breaking crisis.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. McCain 08

    not the first time Obama will disappoint

    August 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. APS in Hawaii

    What a crock, lol. Only a lame brain politician could come up with that excuse. So CNN reports at 12:42 AM and it takes Obama 2:18 minutes to respond. Yep, guess I do not want him to get the 3 AM phone call after all.

    August 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. BKoi

    This is sure the silly season ! No wonder the country is in such a mess, with this bunch of republican morons in charge!!!! What a childish lot! McCain and his pals are like Nero , he fiddled while Rome burned !! GET IT ??????

    August 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Mauri

    Well boo-whoo!!! "Twas a stupid plan anyway. What of people who had not donated to Obama's campaign, or those who do not have texting equipment? Are they without representation? Are they to stay home on election day? I would say to Mr. Gibbs that he should quit whining. CNN was only doing its job, as they usually do.

    August 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Latinos for Obama/Biden

    "Some Republicans and others suggested that Obama’s 3 a.m. ET email had been intended as a deliberate swipe at Hillary Clinton, who ran a primary season ad that referenced that hour of the morning to make the case she was more qualified to handle a breaking crisis."

    Sad news that the Clinton loyalists aren't aware or don't accept that Panamanian McCain's campaign is playing them like fools.

    August 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Angry American

    That's typical for CNN!!!

    August 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Klaus

    And you're proud of this?

    Republican hacks...

    August 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Ric

    Hillary should run as an independent ... with Bill Richardson. She'd win in a walk!

    August 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Karol

    Good for CNN. Once again, this shows how arrogant B.O is. Some people ( especially his PAID bloggers ) keep talking about H.C. being a "poor looser" but B.O. is rubbing it in her face every chance he gets. Lets hope when John McCain wins that B.O likes getting his I told you so!!!!!!

    Democrat for McCain 08

    August 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Ndalio

    I really pray for Obama ! He'll bring fredh wind.

    August 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Tired of the Clinton's garbage

    That is one of the problems with the media, everybody wants to be first to get the story out. Then CNN kept saying Saturday, did Obama's camp blow the text messege trick with his supporters. When in fact CNN knew all along they broke the story before Obama's camp wanted to let the cat out of the bag.

    August 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Thomas

    I got the email at 3:12am it was sent at 3am... It was planned, please CNN!

    August 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Erica

    oh please!

    CNN broke the news at 1:00 A.M. on a Friday night. A mere 7 hours before the message went out.

    The so called "scoop" had virtually no effect because 1.) the vast majority of people that are even AWAKE at 1:00 am are not sitting in front of the TV watching CNN on a Friday night!!

    the text message thing might have been a bit ambitious, but its pathetic that the media couldn't just let it go and let them do their thing. No one cares.

    August 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. TenACity -- Solvang, CA

    Early or late, night or day, from CNN, Barack Obama, or via text message or email I am thrilled with his decision!! A very wise running mate choice indeed!

    Obama – Biden = Win – Win08!!

    August 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Writing In Hillary In November

    Nothing new - Obama campaign just playing "innocent" again. They are so transparent!

    The time WAS a deliberate swipe at Senator Clinton AND they blew the text messaging gimmick. People started complaining that they never received their text message and the Obama campaign had to come up with a reason (excuse).

    It's okay - all you Obama supporters will definately get their request for donations - they've got that system perfected.

    August 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. chris

    I'm not a Republican but I definitely think that the 3:00 AM text message was not mere coincidence. It was done to diss Hillary and reflects poorly on Obama.

    August 24, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Joel

    So thats why I was rudely awakened when I forgot to turn my cell phone off.

    August 24, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Don Hiller

    3AM? A coincidence? I think not. How gullible does BO think his supporters are?...I withdraw my question....

    August 24, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. John

    Nice work, CNN. What was the point of leaking this info 7 hours early? It's not like Biden is going anywhere anytime soon.

    August 24, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Janey/Michigan

    easy, now, to say the 3 AM insult wasn't planned. We all know Obama's underhanded tactics by now. Why not 1 AM or 2 AM or 1:45? Obama really thinks he can fool people? There is nothing cool about him!

    August 24, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Hayden

    Good for CNN, the most trusted name in news!

    August 24, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. JOEL

    IT WAS A SWIPE AT HILLARY YOU KNOW IT .

    August 24, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. Oh Please

    I don't want to hear that mess. They had all day Friday to deliver that text message and they chose not to. Finding out just a few hours in advance of the public rally on Saturday would've been pretty useless anyway.

    August 24, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. jeanette from Charlotte

    The Republicans "see" a swipe at Hillary at every turn.
    They could care less about Hillary Clinton – all they want is to stir up trouble and to try and garner her supporters to their side.
    Well, Hillary supporters are smarter than that – they know exactly what John McCain is up to and are laughing at him and his campaign.

    Hillary is a champion for womens rights, which John McCain is out to destroy, and her supporters will never vote for him.

    Just wait until the Democratic Convention is over – you'll see the full force of the Hillary supporters standing firmly with Senator Obama and Joe Biden.

    August 24, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  25. Dylan

    Hope you're real proud of yourselves CNN.

    You've just lost another viewer.

    August 24, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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