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. Wayne in CA

    so...what they figured out was that less McCain means better poll numbers..??
    That's very much the GOP way..

    "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."

    should be interesting to see if the American voting public is willing to vote for the "senior advisers" instead of their candidate..

    September 13, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  2. reef133

    Watch – these will be invited only/Karl Rove events. The media should only agree to cover them if they are open to the public. Was there even s single protest sign in the 80,000 strong open crowd for Obama in Denver? No.

    There would signs of protest guaranteed for a McCain event if they knew you media guys wouldn't just fall all over yourself to fill a 24 news cycle. Then THAT would be news.

    September 13, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  3. in the heartland

    That's right, McBush. Keep her close and scripted. You can't trust the Princess of Pork to take questions even from a friendly audience.

    What a sad joke.

    September 13, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  4. Wayne in CA

    what's up with the comments' moderators...and where are all the comments..???

    September 13, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  5. Mr Republican

    I hope they come to Minnesota, I want to ask them about illegal immigration and amnesty.

    September 13, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. No Palin No McCain NO WAY!!!

    Palin is an Empty Pants Suit. She can't answer Charles Gibsons questions, she is a robot, she has no ideas, no new plans to get America back on track. She contradicts herself. She repeats answers over and over again as if to beat America over the head with her misinformation like Bush has done to America the last 8 years..

    Now she didn't go to Iraq as earlier stated by her. Shame on her, she is a flip-flop dancing queen. McCain picked himself a winner there. She isn't fooling a lot of America, only those sheep in GOP clothing.

    No Pailn, No McCain, No Way.. McCain/Plain = World War 3, Higher taxes, more war, higher debt, more broken laws by our President, more misinformation.

    Vote the facts, policies, and with reality, not some script that is read over and over again..

    September 13, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  7. No Way, No How, No George McCain!

    Like they are going to let her answer any real questions. McShames fake town hall meetings have always been invite only.

    I still see ad's saying she said NO to the bridge to no where, truth is CONGRESS SAID NO FIRST, then she built a road to no where.

    September 13, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  8. Keith

    He needs to give up already cause his negativity and disgusting smear tactics are not what this country needs, and she needs to go back to that frozen tundra and havehot cocoa gatherings with the Eskimos. The woman is so irritatingly disgusting and despicable that she shouldn't even be down here campaigning with a smile on her face telling the American people her and McCain will promise this and promise that. I just hope that we are smart enough to see through their smear tactics and lies. I know I am.

    September 13, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. tigerakabj

    Here's the thing: his campaign stopped him from holding too many interviews b/c he was making so many gaffes. Saying stuff like Iraq/Pakistan border and Czeckoslovakia would be devastating to his campaign (now that Obama is amping it up on him thankfully).

    And it does not surprise me that they are doing joing town halls together. McCain knows he can't generate crowds on his own and without the woman to hide behind (like he's done his entire life) he is lost. The bad news for him is finally the media is revealing her for who she truly is - a fraud who shouldn't be anywhere near the White House. The 15 minutes of fame for her is going to be coming to a swift end. Easy come, easy go.

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012.

    September 13, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  10. georgia

    Why could it be that they want only limited media coverage ??? hmmmmm.... Much to hide !

    September 13, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Rebecca - Michigan

    Yeah right, I will believe it when I see it. They are protecting and keeping Palin as secret as possible so let's see if the questions are really screened or if they are open for anyone.

    I've seen a couple of documentaries on Sarah Palin now and one thing I've picked up is that many people who know her say she is really good at keeping secrets. I don't think that is a positive thing when running as a someone who is supposed to be so transparent. Let's see if they will keep her protected with screens or if they will let her get the tough questions everyone else has had to go through.

    September 13, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  12. DA

    LOL...McCain sure don't want to leave his comfort blanket too far!!!LOL...
    Was he on the campaign trail today? I guess not since she is just leaving Alaska. LOL But then again if he was the media sure didn't say a word about it.lol

    September 13, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Joshua College Station Texas

    Let's see if any of her new adoring fans ask her any difficult questions or her campaign sets her up with prearranged ones. Or maybe they will just pitch her softballs.

    September 13, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. JAM

    How much you want to bet that the audience and questions are hand picked – just like bush'e were in '00 and '04.

    September 13, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  15. Hillary Supporter

    Palin is A PATHOLOGICAL EXAGGERATOR and has given a new name to DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR. She is sooo DANGEROUS TO BE IN CHARGE of our BELOVED COUNTRY. She needs to take ANTI -LYING MEDICATION.

    September 13, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  16. chat

    Sarah, we were groups of Hillary supporters from California, we are your new supporters now from San Francisco.

    We are wishing you luck! We love you! We love your spirit, your speeches, your easiness with people, after all, you are real and a Mart Mart Mom. We really love you.

    We seldom log on to the web, but we will support you silently.

    .

    September 13, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  17. SM

    CNN you liars!!! I just sat through an hour of Palin propoganda, where is your advertised Joe Biden Hour??? Don't think we don't notice that you gave Palin an hour long bio and didn't offer the same to Biden. ENOUGH of the MOOSEHUNTING !!! Give us JOE!!!

    September 13, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. SM

    CNN you liars!!! I just sat through an hour of Palin propoganda, where is your advertised Joe Biden Hour??? Don't think we don't notice that you gave Palin an hour long bio and didn't offer the same to Biden. ENOUGH of the MOOSEHUNTING !!! Give us JOE!!!

    September 13, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. Funso

    It is a great pity how McCain went from experience to "trying to win at all cost". When the election is over and it's time to work, from where will his (hopeful) Vice draw her experience? Who will play the role of a mother to her baby boy and the rest?

    September 13, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. Mad

    Its why im voting for him- he answers the peoples questions directly
    and its not fixed at all

    he will reach across party lines to my own party

    Democrat for McCain/Palin 2008
    Clinton 2012

    September 13, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. Orlando O.

    Do the attendees have to sign loyalty oaths? Perhaps the people who attend the town halls will do a better job of holding McCain and Palin accountable for their cynical and dishonest campaign than the media

    September 13, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. Mindscape

    Awesome!

    This gives America a chance to see some of the issues that McCain and Palin have for our country.

    I'm really getting sick of the negative comments and small stuff the campagins are focusing on. They really should stick to the issues.

    I bet the Democrats are really fustrated right now. This was supposed to be the be the best time to beat a Republican and they are still down.

    They picked a candidate with no experience who has'nt accomplished anything and paired him with a man who is racist, a bigot, and a plagarizer. Good luck, Dems!

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 13, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  23. Wisest one of All

    Without a script and teleprompter nobama is toast. He sounds dumber than bush, and that is some achievement.

    September 13, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  24. Jen914

    Palin and McCain are such stupid, corrupted trash. I cannot believe with all the intelligent people in the media that everyone is scared to highlight their lies with the exception of the ladies on the View. I just donated to Obama/Biden today...as a former Republican, I am completely disgusted with the Republican party's acts.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

    September 13, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  25. Perusing-Through

    DEAR CNN,

    In the two weeks Palin has joined McCain's campaign trail, mainstream media has been daily smacked in the mouth by blatant Palin lies. God forbid the media really start digging for the truth. In the 14-days since Palin's national debut, there has been an average of one "significant" lie per day regarding Palin. And the lies don't stop coming.

    The speed of these incoming lies is faster than the concerned voter can log them. The voters need to keep these issues in mind. As a favor for the public and for objective voters, I would like to ask CNN to do the voters a favor and follow Sarah Palin on the trail as an "instant fact check" for all new lies. This would be an honorable public service and it would help voters judge the true character of the controversial Sarah Palin.

    Sincerely Yours,
    An Attentive and Conscientious November 4th voter

    September 13, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
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