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. Abby

    Well – Obama will NOT do town hall meetings – so now McCain will do them with Palin. Much better choice – maybe we will learn something – not like obama um ah umm, what I really mean is....

    September 13, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. Pee for Poultice

    Wonder what her children think about these "embellishments" of her credentials?

    September 13, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. Marie

    Wow what a Hero, hiding under Palin's skirt. Two dumbies on the trail.

    September 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  4. Did Palin say the U.S.would go to war with Russia?

    Do they mean that, mccain's puppet, palin, will actually be able to speak without her script, and answer a question? Or will she be wearing a mic while someone feeds her the answers

    September 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. Credit Card Republicans

    Only attack speechs Sarah?

    September 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  6. Independent Thinker

    He has to keep her close since he can't possibly know what stupid comments she might make.

    September 13, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  7. bridgette

    Will they answer questions from real people or will they have plants in the audience. They are lying about everything else I just can't believe anything that comes out of their mouth.

    September 13, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. JK in WI

    What this says to me is that:

    1.) Sen. McCain's handlers know that if Gov. Palin were to hold her own campaign events, she'd draw bigger crowds and overshadow McCain. (This shouldn't suprise anybody as there was little enthusiasm for McCain before Palin.)

    2.) McCain's handlers aren't confident in Palin's ability to go it alone and they're keeping her close to protect her. This is evident in the fact that they don't allow her to answer questions on campaign events, and she's still using the same tired material she used in her convention speech. This doesn't instill much confidence in me as a voter.

    In her interviews with Charlie Gibson, Palin came off as very underqualified when it comes to foreign relations and national security. She kept dodging the questions and changing the subject to energy, a topic she's comfortable discussing.

    As far as I'm concerned, foreign relations should be the #1 issue. McCain's campaign often cites Sen. Obama's lack of experience, but while Sen. Obama has limited experience, at least he's been around the world, he's met with foreign leaders, and he can at least speak competently about the subject. (Not to mention he's got a running mate w/ extensive experience.)

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

    who wants to interact with her anyway?
    Only those with IQ of less than-

    September 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. mike

    BARBRA WALTER AND THE TEAM ON THE VIEW PUT CNN , NBC . FOX. CBS, TO SHAME THEY SHOWED HOW TO INTERVIEW A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WEATHER ITS A REPUBLICAN OR A DEMOCRAT . WELL DONE TO THE TEAM ON THE VIEW EXELLENT . THEY WOULD NOT LET JOHM MCBUSH GET AWAY WITH HIS LIES AND RIGHTLY ROASTED HIM FOR IT .MCAIN SAID ON THE VIEW PALIN TOOK NO EAR MARKS SHE TOO 200 MILLION DOLLERS WORTH THIS YEAR ALONE . PALIN VIEWS THE GOB OF THE GOVENOR IS TO APPLY FOR AND GET PORK SPENDING FOR THE STATE SO TELL THE DAM TRUTH MCBUSH . ALL THE VETRINS GROUPS SCORE OBAMAS VOTEING RECORD MUCH HIGHER THEN MCAIN IN FACT ITS 80% A b+ FOR OBAMA AND A D FOR MCAIN OR 20% . STRANGE HOW CNN NEVER TELL YA THESE THINGA ISENT IT . WERE WAS MCAIN WHEN THEY VOTED ON THE VETRINS BILL RECENTLY A FUNDRAISER HE VOTED AGAINST IT . THESE BYOS AND GIRLS GIVE IT ALL FOR THEIR COUNTY SOME LOOSE LIMBS LEFT WITH PSYCOLOGICAL DAMAGE AND MCAIN THINGS WE GIVE THE VETRINS TO MUCH BENNIFITS . after what they gave for this country . OBAMA O8 becouse our vets disserve better than mcain .

    September 13, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. d

    I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE SEEN A CANDIDATE THAT WAS SO PROTECTED. MCCAIN OBVIOUSLY HAS VERY LITTLE CONFIDENCE IN HER, OR HE WOULD LET HER GO OUT ON HER OWN AND ANSWER QUESTIONS. WHY WOULD THAT BE? BECAUSE THEY ARE SO FAR APART ON MANY ISSUES, SHE HASN'T A CLUE WHERE MCCAIN STANDS ON THE ISSUES AND SHE WILL MELT UNDER THE SCRUTINY OF THE MEDIA. THE CELEBRITY STATUS WILL WEAR OFF ONCE SHE EXPOSES HERSELF FOR THE FRAUD THAT SHE IS.
    START THE LIST:
    VOYED AGAINST THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE..LIE
    SOLD THE JET ON EBAY..LIE
    NEVER ACCEPTED EARMARKS..LIE
    WENT TO IRAQ..LIE
    WENT TO 6 COLLEGES IN 6 YEARS..TRUE
    BEING INVESTIGATED FOR IMPROPER CONDUCT CONCERNING THE FIRING OF HER EX BROTHER IN LAW..TRUE
    THE LIST IS ENDLESS...

    September 13, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. Angela

    It's pretty sad that John McCain can't go anywhere without Sarah Palin now. It just goes to show you how weak he is.

    September 13, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Darnell

    And once again, there is an open invitation for Obama. He did say today John McCain wants to have a debate about national security let’s have that debate. Prove it! Bring your telepromter to a town hall meeting and lets have a debate.

    September 13, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. simon

    its 3 am the phone rings in the white house mcain is in a terrible rageing temper flying into a rage slams the phone down and orders a nuculer strike . is this the kind of man we need takeing the 3 am emergency calls ? i dont think so . obama 08

    September 13, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. Sue in MI

    So does anyone think that a non-plant will be able to ask Palin a question, or that, if asked, she will manage to answer with anything other than the one-liners she has spouted for two weeks?

    September 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. What the?!

    Why is the McCain campaign(you know, the one employing well over a hundred lobbyists) so hell bent on keeping Palin close to McCain at all times? And why will she not be allowed to interact with guests? And when are they going to get serious about the issues? Hmmm...FACTCHECK.ORG

    September 13, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. R.C.Davis

    BUT HE PICKED BIDEN FOR "CHANGE" THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BELEIVE IN !! HE DON'T NEED TOWNHALL MEETINGS, HE'S SMARTER THEN THAT, BESIDES YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE "VOTERS" MIGHT ASK, AND BIDEN WON'T BE THERE TO COVER YOUR "FOREIGN EXPERIENCE " ! !

    September 13, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. kennywest

    This is very interesting, McCain put out an ad that condems Obama for calling Palin a pig, and defended it when asked. Now either he thinks we're stupid, he's lying, or he's stupid. Now which of these qualities do you want in a President.

    September 13, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  19. druid

    The way things are going in the republic ticket it looks like Sarah Palin is the presidential candidate and McCain is the vice president. It seems now that McCain is afraid to go out campaign on the road without Palin. I don't know if any one has notice this. McCain is looking less presidential every day when she is with Sarah Palin because she over showed him. Press use to say if Obama chose Hillary Obama will look weak can we say the same here. The press is ignoring to bring it up because they say is sexist. I see no different in treating a man in oval office less or more than a woman. Women we should stop using the term sexist because we are asked question. By we thinking we are not strong enough to answer questions or point out our view without the sexist term we are hiding behind the curtain.

    September 13, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  20. Joanne600

    Senator Obama continues to decline invitations to join Senator McCain in a series ot townhall meetings. He appears to be very afraid of an unscripted format. The latest invitation was extended by McCain during his appearance on "The View'. What are you afraid of, Senator Obama?

    September 13, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. April in Texas

    Wonder how many more lies will come to follow? They sure have a lot of them now and there is still 50 days or so to go.. Vote for the truth teller = Obama or the liar= McCain... Hope the adults choose what they teach their children lying is very bad and against the 10 comandments..

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 13, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. PUMBU

    Why McCain has to hide under her skirt, she is terribly inexperienced and nobody is yet to ask her any tough questions. This has turned into miss congeniality contest. Wake up people no more Bush terribly agony under McSame !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE JUST CAN'T AFFORD.

    September 13, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  23. George/FL

    WHO IS THIS WOMAN THAT SHE LIES OVER AND OVER. SHE LIES ABOUT HER CHILD,LIES ABOUT TRIP TO IRAQ AND BLOCKING THE HOW SHE FIRED ALASKA CHIEF POLICE OFFICER, AND SAYS THE INVESTIGATION CAN BE CARRIED OUT AFTER ELECTION. MY FELLOW AMERICANS WE SHOULDN'T BE DECIEVED ANYMORE. DON'T LET MCCAIN AND THIS WOMAN GET US TO VOTE FOR THEM AND REGRET LATER. I DID WANT TO CAST MY VOTE FOR THEM, NOW IT'S OVER. I CAN FEEL IT MY SELF THAT MCCAIN DON'T VET THIS WOMAN AT ALL. JOHN IS JUST AFTER HOW TO GET VOTERS THAT IS ALL! AND FOXNEWS JUST KEEP SUPPORTING HER AND NOT SAYING THE TRUTH ABOUT HER! MY FELLOW AMERICANS WATCH OUT!

    September 13, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. Ron

    I'm sure they'll "screen questions" or have implants in the audience who ask only pre-arranged questions like "How do you balance both moose hunting and balancing the Alaska budget?"...What else can you expect from the McCain "doctrine"? At least it's one "doctrine" that I'm sure Sarah is very well aware of.

    September 13, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. Dee

    Both McCain and Palin have problem telling the truth!!!

    They both claim to be a Christians and they both tell lie after lie after lie even after the media exposes the lie they still continue to lie.

    Is this how they will run the White House?

    September 13, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
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