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. Ron

    After her interview gaffs, it appears McCain is still unsure about letting Palin out of his sight.

    September 13, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. Tyler in Raleigh

    "beter refine and controld their message" = LIE
    "rallies where she will speak to but not interact with voters" = LIE
    "he hasn't held a town hall in almost a month " = LIE
    "promised to hold frequent press conferences in the White House hasn't held an availability with traveling reporters in exactly a month" = LIE

    So.... the guy basically wants "openess" and "transparency" in government, as long as the media does what he wants. Can't wait until he implements a state run media to disperse doctrine around the land.

    September 13, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. PCL

    Speak but not interact...no kidding...

    September 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. jennifer, Evergreen, CO

    So which one of them can't be trusted to appear on their own?

    September 13, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. Perspicacious Chicagoan

    His town halls are likely to be charades. He can no longer deal with real questions as evidenced by him refusing to meet with the press. With Palin refusing to meet with the press. He is working with Bush handlers and is nothing more than Bush league.

    September 13, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Tony

    Does NO Plan Palin have a teleprompter or will she be reading off of a paper placed in front of her?

    September 13, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Ron

    Quote:

    "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."

    Why not allow her to interact with voters?

    September 13, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Florida democrat

    Is this because she is not qualified to speak for herself and campaign for herself? Just another Bush administration......having a VP that serves as a puppet.

    CNN, why do you not report on the caging going on in the battleground states? This should be all over the news. I received my letter last week and am fighting just to be able to vote.

    Look up 'caging' or 'cage list' on Wykepedia!

    Republicans are scum of the earth.

    September 13, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Denise

    the lack of communication with the press, or honesty with the American people is a future reflection of the covert Bush Administration- another words more of the same !!!

    September 13, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. KofTX

    I wish the media wouldn't trivialize the McCain campaigns' dishonesty.

    IT SHOULD BE A BIG DEAL WHEN A PRESIDENTIAL OR VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LIES AND INTENTIONALLY MISLEADS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE REGARDING THEIR RECORD AND POSITIONS ON POLITICAL ISSUES.

    September 13, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. Stop the Insanity

    Palin will speak, but not interact with voters. Hmmm..Kind of says it all doesn't it?

    September 13, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. GEEZER & GIDGET

    Republican's want to "better refine and control their message"

    September 13, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. thomas harding

    Don't let her be alone lest someone ask her who the father of our country is and she doesn't know.

    September 13, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. GEEZER & GIDGET

    Republicanese, now they want to "better refine and control their message"?

    Translation: We are putting both the Geezer and Gidget in the "cone of silence" until the election.

    September 13, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Sarah....and my last name isn't Palin

    Going to town hall meetings to spread more lies about her record of being a reformer. America, we are much better than this.

    September 13, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. Hottopics

    Forget about experience – this woman is a nut case. Has there ever been a worse candidate chosen to be VP. I bet McCain wishes he hadn't picked her.

    September 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. David P, Santa Rosa, CA

    "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. "

    I think the press are finally starting to say "hey... what's going on? No Access? Further, just trust me mentality?"

    This is different than the Bush/Cheny administration in what way exactly?

    McCain/Palin have granted interviews only to ABC at this point. (The View, C. Gibson). I suspect they felt that ABC would cut them a little slack. And, to a degree they did. Can you imagine if Campbell Brown were to interview John McCain or Sarah Palin? Even the ever likable Chris Mathews would kick some butt. Why are these two hiding from thier own traveling press corp? Secrets, and lies, and lies, and secrets... just more of the same...

    September 13, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Arielle Yanaba

    Why are they afraid to let both their candidates speak? Whose campaign is this anyway?

    September 13, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. carol kesling

    how can see go on solo trips and speak and not even answer ANY QUESTIONS???????? what kind of a candidate not take questions???? maybe she is afraid she will spew more lies!!!!!!

    September 13, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. Viet Vet

    I wonder why McSame straight talk express stop have his much touted Town Hall meeting. I know, someone may ask him about the lies he is perpertrating, or his VP Pick may have to answer some questios from the people she have been throwing smoke screen at to cover the real Paulin. Time is winding down,ya can't keep hiding.

    September 13, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Another Republican for Obama (this year)

    How bad is it when our candidate needs an inexperienced joke of a VP candidate to draw a crowd more than 500 people? And how bad a joke is she when you hve to hide her from the press and voters for 2 weeks?

    September 13, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. Susan

    Please people readthe article in HuffPo and follow the link to Sundays article on Sarah Palin. It is amazing. Once again CNN is slipping back into McCains pocket after they were forced to do their jobs from The View interview. This article is a must read for everyone, Republicans, Democrats, or Independents. Your very country hangs on tha balance of this election!

    September 13, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. josh henderson

    Who Cares...

    September 13, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. Lyndon,CA

    Two mules for sister Sarah and one pig for McCain!

    September 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Amy, Kazoo

    can you say campaign plants?

    September 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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