September 13th, 2008
06:25 PM ET
2 years ago

McCain and Palin plan joint town halls in battleground states

McCain and Palin will hold joint events in key states.
McCain and Palin will hold joint events in key states.

RENO, Nevada (CNN) - CNN has learned that John McCain and Sarah Palin plan to hold joint town hall meetings next week.

A McCain adviser says early plans are to hold the town halls in western Michigan and Wisconsin, although the exact details of where and when they will be held are still being worked out.

These events would likely mark the first time Palin takes questions from voters.

Aides say her solo campaign events planned for Nevada Saturday, Colorado Monday, and Ohio Tuesday are all scheduled as rallies where she will speak to but not interact with voters.

McCain is known for his town hall meetings, and often touts his penchant for the ask-anything approach as proof of his "straight talk."

But he hasn't held a town hall in almost a month - since August 20 in New Mexico.

And the man who promised to hold frequent press conferences in the White House hasn't held an availability with traveling reporters in exactly a month: His last press conference was August 13.

McCain aides are quite candid about the fact that they tried for months to persuade him to hold fewer press conferences in order to stay on message, and finally succeeded.

First, he stopped bringing reporters on his bus for his signature "straight talk legs."

Then he severely cut back on what had been a McCain campaign trail staple - a press conference after events with voters.

Senior advisers say they believe that has allowed them to better refine and control their message, and insist that contributed to his rise in the polls even before Palin was picked.

Instead, McCain does a slew of interviews with local reporters and anchors - not just in the states he's visiting, but also via satellite.

It’s a tried and true way for candidates to get their messages out through what campaigns consider to be less of a “filter.”

McCain aides have been getting complaints from traveling reporters about the reduced access, but it is still unclear when or if he'll hold another press conference.

–CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report


Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Jim

    I cannot wait for the debates!

    September 13, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. sam

    Why won't Obama debata McCain??

    September 13, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. David

    They have no choice: no one wants to see McCain, and Palin can't be trusted on her own because she doesn't know the issues.

    September 13, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  4. Toto Too

    Once again, parade her out but don't let her say anything except the standard repubs talking points. Lets look at the strategy of the republican party.
    1. Pick a relatively unknown for the VP to generate a buzz
    2. Knowing that people want to know more about her, don't let her answer real questions that would determine if the ticket as a whole is qualified. (Creates more buzz)
    3. When the media presses questions about her, McCain cries sexism and tries to make her out as a victim. (Poor Sarah)
    4. Say anything bad about Obama regardless of the facts.
    5 Try to convince voters McCains biography better qualifies him for president.
    6 Keep repeating 1 thru 5 and hope McCain never has to explain exactly what he will change, how he will do it and at what cost to who.

    Will it work? Remember the country voted Bush a second term. Now look where we are.

    September 13, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. Sammy

    I am sure she will be able to handle it unless someone throws her a question from left field. That always trips people up as many other VP candidates will tell you.

    September 13, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  6. Los

    Will these be like Bush/Cheney events where only carefully selected people are allowed in? Also when does the McCain campaign plan to take the training wheels off?

    September 13, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. John McCain

    Now Sarah Palin, you stay close to my side and hold my hand, we don't want you wandering off now.

    September 13, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. Ralph

    That is what Obama does, hold rallies. The whole primary season was one rally after another.

    September 13, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. jerry

    Hey man, if I were him (or her) I wouldn't want anyone asking questions either. Too much to hide.

    September 13, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. Jon Little

    Let's see more appearances of Palin on her own....Yea bet that will happen!! She is all about reform huh! John McCain sure is reforming her in to exactly what he wants.

    September 13, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  11. DAR

    This will show the public that mccain/palin can actually answer the questions of the people. Obama gives speeches and lectures. Mccain and Palin speak to the people of things that concern the average American. Hoorah! townhall the best format.

    September 13, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  12. EJO

    Its is amazing that this guy is so close in the polls when he can't even pack an auditorium without Govenor Plain by his side. On the trail these days, she looks like the the person running for president while he just appears to be willing to ride her coat tails to the white house.

    September 13, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  13. sam a.

    I am dying of laughter. This woman has been NOWHERE. She lied about going to Iraq and visiting the troops, her "trip" to Ireland was a stop for fuel for the plane, and now she wants brownie points for going to Mexico and Canada on family vacations. I mean, my CHILDREN have been to more countries than she has (including Mexico and Canada)..

    When you have to ask for points for visiting Canada, it's just better to say that you haven't gotten out much. Too busy shooting the defenseless wolves in their backs...

    September 13, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  14. hurriCAIN PALIN

    obama agreed to these meetings, but didnt follow through on his

    word. pretty "reliable" and "trustworthy" candidate the dems picked.

    September 13, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  15. Al

    Hey, enough of this Palin celebrity thing already. While everyone is oohing an ahhing over Palin, it is distracting from the issues of the election. Obama and McCain are running for President, not Palin. Dear media, stop deciding and electing our next President and cover the candidates equally and fairly. You guys have not focused equally on the Presidential candidates. It has all been Palin this and Palin that. And on the issue of McCain, there is no reason why he should be ahead in the polls. There is a major double standard. Everyone hammered Bill Clinton for his affairs. Meanwhile, you guys mentioned absolutely nothing about Carol Shepp. Maybe I should take out a full paged ad in every newspaper in the country on a Sunday Morning about it. If you guys covered Clinton's affairs and are being so bias in favor of the McCain/Palin ticket, then fair is fair. Let's talk about how McCain got into politics. When he returned from Nam, his wife had been in a car accident. She was a few inches shorter and had gained weight. In 1979, while still married, he cheated on her with the now Cindy McCain, and this was the reason for his divorce so he could marry her. It was noted that he had extra-marital affairs between 1973 and 1979. Cindy McCain is an heiress to a wealthy beer bottling company. In 1980, McCain divorced Carol Shepp, for the purpose of marrying his mistress, the now Cindy McCain. Cindy's father then got McCain into politics. Why don't you guys tell this truth. You sure knew how to tell all about Clinton. Why don't you guys stop being so favoring of the right and if you are going to tell all about Clinton then it is only fair that you tell all about McCain. If you don't, then maybe I will.

    September 13, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  16. Stacy from Beautiful Loudoun Country VA

    Why am I not surprised? McCain and Palin need chaperons and their handlers don't want them to get too far away from each other.

    September 13, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  17. Richie

    "Town hall" meetings. Sure. Packed with people screened to ensure they've drunk the kool-aid. That will be enlightening. "Mrs. Palin, did you really SEE Russia?"

    September 13, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. Alaska and Arizona POW for Obama/Biden

    Vote smart this November. Vote good judgment. If you say that our economy is good now, you are an elitist and you do not know our struggle to put food on our bellies and gas in our cars. John McCain that elitist think the economy is good and has no plan to help us. He wants more wars, more tax cut for big corporate that ship our jobs oversees. Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania I know that your economies are hurting and you must vote smart and vote someone who understands your economics’ struggles. It is not time to support someone just for race or gender, it is time to take our country back and get our respect back around the world. Vote Democratic this November if you are a true American who put America first. We need change in Washington and the Democratic Party has that change for us this November.

    September 13, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  19. Big AL

    I see all these clowns that call themself Repugs really want to head out back and hang themself. I can see all the angry in you'll. All alone you'll was talking about Obama isn't ready because of experience. Wow back then I was wondering if the table was turn. Well now I know, you'll really can't handle it... You'll spend all your time trying to convince yourself about voting for McSenile.... The lies that McCrazy are spreading isn't working this time. I give the MSM credit this time around for call this BS that McCrazie is putting off. For the last 2 weeks, the lies and crapp McSenie put out have been all on it... This year the BS won't work, you even see the women come out and voice there views just the the women on "The View" good job ladies, but I'm sad to say he won't be back, you'll was too hard on him. Did you'll see McSenile wiggling like a worm, I was about to call the show and tell them someone need to change the old man Depend...LOL But anyway if Sen.Obama would have made a pick like this, the voting would be starting tomorrow it would be over. It's so funny to see these fools on TV trying to convince themself. not the American people we are sitting back, falling out of the chair, rolling around because this drama is too funny, You just can't make this stuff up... Wow I'm waiting on the next interview because the more she talk the more goofy them Repugs that doing them talk shows will look.

    P.S.I guess when she talked about keeping our eye on Russia, well she is the Gov.of Ak she can go out too that island where she can see Russia, packing a six shooter and some Moose soup, keeping an look out....... That would be a Great American.

    September 13, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  20. Jacqueline

    Ill be out with protest signs. Im tired of the political lies.

    September 13, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. tony

    Like Reagan - Take it too the people directly-
    Obama is so full of rhetoric - nows he's complaining that McCain is running the sleaziest campaign ever-
    My Comment-
    Takes One to to know one Mr. Axelrod-
    Obama is no more ready to be President than I am–

    When people go into the booth-THey are not looking for a typical Chicago Politician but someone people can respect-

    Many people will say they will vote for him but they won't be able to pull the lever just like in the case when he was running against Hillary-
    Like Hillary said " He can't close the deal-"

    September 13, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. Val Pierre

    How is that there is little or no media reaction to the comment Gov Palin made regarding her view on Roe vs Wade?

    September 13, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. ricardo williams

    How many more lies about this Palin can the American people tolerate? Is she trying to compete against her own Pinnichio McCain? Bridge to nowhere, Visit to Iraq, Sold jet on Ebay. Come on it is time for real Change.

    September 13, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  24. John

    Everybody appears to be affraid of Palin, even the Republicans. She comes off as a female Karl Rove!

    September 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  25. Please Listen

    Because he needs to hide behind Palin and her lies. Why they can not do it by themselves. Let them both go there on ways. Oh, she no both of them can not do interviews anymore.

    September 13, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
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