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. Debby of Florida

    Glad Billary didn't get the pick. No character.

    August 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Leslie

    I was watching at the time and thought good for you CNN. I'm glad they screwed it up for Obama he deserved it !! He was pandering to the 'kids' that are swept away by him. Who ever lowered the voting age to 18 was nuts !!!

    August 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Richard Conn Henry

    Hillary (and Bill) strongly support Barack and Joe for the same reason that YOU should (and I hope WILL support Barack and Joe) which is the future of our country. God Bless America!

    August 24, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. PoliticoMike

    Congrats CNN. Not only you ruined people's participation in this because yo unwanted to be the 1st to report it, you also have been pushing Hilliary on the guy. For crying out loud, let the campaign play out itself. Just report, don't try to dictate or sway towards anyone. Give both of the equal coverage. No more Obama hating or kissing up to McCain or vice versa.
    I'm close to stopping watch your network. Hope you're proud. This prob won't get approved, so who's ever reading this, tell your Bosses they are slipping!

    August 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. louise, SAnta Barbara, CA

    As someone who lives on the west coast, I was over joyed with the good news as well as not having to ba awakened at 3:AM

    This Hillary stuff is too much. Get over it and let's go from here all of the way to the White House. GO TEAM!!

    August 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Gabriel Feher

    There are two points I'd like to make. First, the charge by some Republicans that the Obama campaign intentionally released the text message at 3 a.m. as a dig to Hillary. Please! Why in the world would they want to throw a zinger at her when they're trying to unite the party with her support? Would sending the text message at 3 a.m. be worth alienating her? No one with an iota of political acumen would even suggest such a ridiculous proposition. My second point is that the media, in its ruthless ambition to beat the opposition to the punch, can ruin even the best laden plans. In this case, it was CNN. It's like you stole all the presents Christmas morning before the kids got up. Thanks... for being the grinch!

    August 24, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Rick

    Our local paper (the Danbury News-Times) reported the pick in the Sat AM paper because they were tipped by an unnamed source close to Obama. An obvious ploy by the Obama campaign to make the Sat AM papers.

    August 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Jerome

    Way to go CNN. You continue to live up to your reputation as perpetual idiots.

    You must all be proud for raining on someone's parade.

    If you call that smart journalism than you are mistaken. I call it being a big spoiled brat.

    August 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Ben Obamacrat

    Not a big deal, except for the Repuglicans who would sell their mother to disparage BO. The 3 a.m. thing a swipe at Hillary? Gimme a break.

    August 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. JR, Plymouth

    How bush for CNN to be so frantic to be first. And equally childish of the Clinton fanatics to smell yet another conspiracy. Get over it, folks.

    August 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. APS in Hawaii

    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 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Alana

    I love you, CNN, but I can't believe you did that. I really would've liked to stick to Barack's original plan. Not happy.

    August 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. aware

    But, how about Madonna? If she would read Hitler's Berlin speeches she would discover that they are very similar to Obama's Berlin speech! :(

    Mussolini/Hitler – Socialism/Fascism – Obama wants to redistribute our money...?

    I don't think the dems want to go there! :)

    August 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. jFA

    P ay
    U p
    M y
    A ficionados

    Help retire my primary campaign debt. As a private citizen seeking to serve my country, my public campaign debt should not be hung around my neck as a private expenditure I alone am saddled with.
    http://www.hillaryclinton.com

    August 24, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. E.C.Coleman

    ON THE OTHER HAND............THAT STUPID IDEA OF OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN STAFF TO SEND TEXT MESSAGES IN A FLOOD OF EMAILS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY IS PROBABLY WHAT SCREWED UP MY COMPUTER ALL MORNING.......NOT A GOOD THING FOR VOTERS OR ANYONE, FOR THAT MATTER. THE IDEA WAS TO APPEAL TO 18 YEAR OLD AND YOUNGER VOTERS? OH, YEAH....THEY'RE THE ONLY SUPPORTERS WHO WILL BE VOTING FOR OBAMA IN 08! MATURE ADULTS OVER 25 WILL BE VOTING FOR A PRESIDENT WHO HAS AMPLE EXPERIENCE AND A FINE AND REMARKABLE REPUTATION IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE. THAT MAN IS SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, AND HE'S GOING TO WIN THE ELECTION BY A LANDSLIDE!

    August 24, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. obama/not biden '08

    this ticked me off! like cnn opened my birthday present and told me what it was.

    August 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Ken

    You know, I love CNN, but I cannot believe they did that. It was a special moment for Obama supporters, and they ruined it at all hours of the evening.

    ...I guess they did what any business would do.

    August 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. Jo

    Hillary to release her delegates on Wednesday. I hope you ugly bambi supporters are happy. I still won't vote for St. Obama.

    August 24, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Linda

    jeanette from Charlotte.....you are delusional.....

    If you think million of voters will vote for Obama because You and the DNC want them to you need to see a shrink.

    As a Republican President with a Democrat Congress McCain will be limited. And of course we can't forget Pelosi and Reid don't do anything anyway.

    Women's rights are MORE threatened by Obama with his warped views.

    Lifelong Dem family of 23 voters has gone Republican and Independent!! DNC=DoNotCall us anymore

    August 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. DT

    CNN and the rest of the media has been kissing Obama's butt for months now, hoping it up their ratings. NEWS NEWS NEWS about a black person running for president, gets more attention than a white woman, I got news I now change the channel or turn my tv off when you start talking about him, especially when Roland Martin starts flabbing his racist mouth.

    August 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Mike

    You know, beside being able to break your arm patting yourself on the back, you really didn't accomplish anything. I'd like to know who that Democratic source was. I'd fire him or send him packing in whatever way possible. Jerks!

    August 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Lyons

    I think it is ridiculous that news organizations feel that they have to break the news before an announcement is made. Did we really need to know at Midnight that he chose Biden? Would waiting until 8am been that difficult? This is paparazzi-type reporting. I do not think CNN or the others should be that proud of scooping Obama's campaign on this one.

    August 24, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. prairieguy

    ought to change your name to RNN...Republican News Network!!

    Your coverage the past several days has been to exploit the Obama/Clinton supposed fued...PUMA makes up a very small group of babies insitgatede by a Repubican. Also HRC refused to turn over Bill's papers unless it was guarenteed she would be chosen...thus refuesed to be properly vetted...she was not dissed...get the story right for a change.

    No wonder your viewership numbers continue to go down!!!!

    August 24, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. joy

    Republicans don't care about Hillary. they are trying to destroy the Democratic party. if you are a real Democrate you will not vote for McCain. they wanted Senator Obama to pick Hillary because they already have a play book on Hillary. they can not believe Senator Obama pick Biden.

    August 24, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. Indiana Bob

    A 3:00 am text message. This was a calculated move to get one last jab at Hillary. I don't need to hear excuses that are announced "with a grin." So don't blame PUMA when Obama loses. This was his decision, based on his best judgement. Many said they would vote for McCain if Hillary was not the vp, You may find that we actually are true to our word. Unlike Obama who has flip-flopped on every political stance that he stated during the primary. Again, he is all talk and no action. And for the Obamabots that are tired of hearing anti-Obama talk from Democrats and think we should move on. Too bad. postings are not the sole possession of Obamabots. I will continue to express my opinion about the hate-filled cult that is in love with The Obama.

    PUMA - Vote McCain

    August 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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