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. Wake Up Zombies!!!

    I guess now McCain is used to having more than two dozen people at his town hall meetings.

    I bet his trophy VP will be at his side everywhere he goes.

    You're being brainwashed people...WAKE UP!

    September 13, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Mark Billingsley

    Furst question: "Gov. Palin, can we see your tax returns please?

    September 13, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Gwen

    The operative word is "control" here. It's curious to me that a future presidential candidate should be under the control of his press corps.

    Some maverick.

    September 13, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Vikram Patel

    Good symbiotic relationship between the two, but for how long?When will the Number 2 go unescorted to Face the Nation or Meet The Press? This combo scares the hell out of me because Ignorance cannot lead the blind.

    September 13, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. BKoi

    Never , has a candidate running for the second most powerful job in the world been kept from the public scrutiny, as Sarah Palin. She is being fed "the party line" and has to have time , before they send her out , programed to preach the Republican "Mantra" to worshiping audiences! The PUPPET MASTERS, once again , have two puppets to dance to their Republican tunes !

    September 13, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. S. Boatman

    Mccain Doesnt Do Straight Talk Anymore And He Has Not For Years! I See Spit And Run Palin Has A Lot Of Events Scheduled But Will Not Interact With Voters! This Means She Will Come Out And Give The Same Tired Speech, Tell Some More Lies And Then Scurry Back To The Crooked Talk Express! Nothing New Coming Out Of The Most Un Honorable Campaign Is Recent Modern Politics!

    September 13, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Wyatt

    The McCain campaign is being run by the same crowd that Bush had when he ran against McCain for President. Remember all those lie's and smears they did on Mccain saying he had a black daughter out of wedlock and that his wife is a drug addict, well that style of dirty tricks campaigning won Bush the nomination. McCain I quess fiqured this time around get dirty and lie and he too can become President. So called "Country first" McCain has not only lost his honor but he also lost my vote........

    September 13, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Mike

    Our greatest civic responsibility as citizens of the United States is to cast our votes wisely for those who will be tasked to lead and represent our country.

    Listen to the candidates as they respond to the issues and determine if they have the maturity and wisdom to govern our nation. Theirs will be no small task, and we can ill afford the added repercussions of electing leaders who have a shallow or naive understanding of the issues and challenges that face our nation and the world.

    We must think before casting our votes. We must place intelligence in the White House.

    September 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. Luke

    So she cant answer questions from the audience without McCain there? I agree the media went a little overboard on attacks, but that is no reason Palin cant step up and answer questions from the audience, from the people of the United States of America. Isn't McCain's campaign getting a little fascist in its strategies?

    September 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Perla

    That's right, Johnny. Keep her close so she can't say too much. And when she appears alone at rallies, keep her on script.

    The truth is your "fully qualified" running mate isn't even qualified to take questions from the folks you hope will vote for her. What a JOKE!

    September 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. James Cox

    The reduction in press access is to better control the lies. Duhhh.

    September 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. Pat

    It seems that Palin navel string was also buried where McCain's was buried. If she is so tough and savvy, why does she have to cling to the helm of his pants. AND, why is he afraid to give her the full length of the rope? Is he afraid she hangs herself? I think the time has come for him to let go and let her fly. It is better for her to learn from her mistakes now than if/when she gets in the White House.

    September 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Timber (ex dem)

    What a great team! I have never voted republican but will this year. My eyes were opened to the corruption of the DNC with the way they treated the Clintons and played games with the votes of those in Fl and Michegan. The "new" democratic party does not need me anyways according to Brazile. Only when Obama, Brazile, Dean and Pelosi are long gone will I ever vote democrat or give money to them again. I will NOT condone their corruption of the democratic party with a vote for them. I want my old party and their values back.

    McPalin '08.

    September 13, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. Hillary Supporter for Obama

    This is a joke.. Is this going to be acceptable for a VP person? WAKE UP AMERICANS...

    September 13, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. Rich in Seattle

    So I wonder, is it that they don't want to leave Palin on her own because she's stupid, or have McCain on his own because he's getting senile?

    Either way, it's strange. I hope Cindy is okay with this. I saw McCain checking Palin out, and we've all heard rumors that she likes the play around. Hmmm.......

    September 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Enlightened Voter

    Of course they have to be joint town hall meetings she is not ready to go it alone as her interviews painfully point out. And the question is if she isn't ready to campaign by herself how is she ready to be VP????

    September 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. MarioB. from Berlin FOR OBAMA

    sure, they don't leave her alone. SHE'S A THREAT TO THE WHOLE WORLD; SHE'S DANGEROUS AND SHE'S A DOOFUS!
    come on she's a joke. Well never made an interview but then first starting with will to let new cold or real war get started. She's frightening. And the repugs know what kind of joke she is.

    Come on...she's a pitbull, might be, but now she's walked on the lead and wearing a muzzle...
    you looked like an idiot, mrs. BUSH DOCTRINE

    September 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. She Pulls Us Down

    Mrs. Palin is perpetrating a fraud.

    She is barely knowledgible on key matters of national importance. It was clear from the 1st interview she participated in that she's been cramming for the exam ... the interview ... and simply gave the rote answer.

    It is pretty clear that none of this stuff has ever mattered to her and she's really not done any critical thinking about any of it to develop informed positions.

    Sarah reads a teleprompter well and she "drops her g's" to sound colloquial and FOLKSY to the public. In time, she may improve her interviewing "technique" and will be able to fake out some voters but the policy & details substance isn't there.

    For 8 years we tried having a folksy Washington outsider take over the Government and the White house .... That's how we got George Bush. I've learned and won't be repeating that mistake.

    September 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. AA

    That's nice. Grandpa two two-face sell out and his nurse.

    Peace.

    September 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Montana is Obama Country

    **
    Great NOW we can LISTEN to LIES.. IN STEREO..!!

    **

    No more lies... No more of the same..!!

    **

    September 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. No Hillary = No Obama

    NO Hillary, No OBama, No way, No how. Keeping smiling McCain and Palin – you turned the tables on Mr. Change.

    September 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Sue

    Gee, I bet these events will be just like Bush's-hand picked people and screened questions. I'll be very surprised if anyone is allowed to question Palin about anything other than her hair and clothes. If they do, she'll be off on her tangent about Alaska and the good she has done there. And McCain will simply blame Obama for whatever ails the country. Yawn.

    September 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. Jaison Biagini

    what a shocker. not taking questions!! lol
    talk about a celebrity!! wave at the crowd, say a few words then leave.
    i guess after she bombed with a light-weight like charlie gibson we will get bread and butter stumps only.

    September 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Frank, MO

    The ol' man cannot do it anymore alone! How pathetic! Who would be the president if they would win ?

    September 13, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. dennis from chicago

    I WOULD RATHER SEE A DEBATE BUT O BAMA SEEMS TO BE ON THE RUN.......WHAT IS WRONG WE WANT A DEBATE NOW... RIGHT NOW/ ENOUGH OF THE CAT CAL;LS AND LIPSTICKED PIGS........EITHER DEBATE NOW OR FOLD/// NO DEBATE NO VOTE FOR O BAMA//// IF YOU CAN'T STAND UP THEN ADMIT DEFEAT AND CALL YOUR TROOPS BACK/////

    September 13, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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