September 23rd, 2008
02:45 PM ET
3 years ago

McCain camp tries to keep reporters out of Palin meetings

The media was allowed to observe Palin and Karzai for less than 30 seconds.
The media was allowed to observe Palin and Karzai for less than 30 seconds.

(CNN) - McCain-Palin campaign officials shifted course Tuesday after being informed by television news organizations that they would not broadcast footage of Sarah Palin’s meeting with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai Tuesday in New York - the Republican VP nominee’s first with a foreign leader - if a reporter was not allowed in to observe the pair.

CNN, which was the pool network for the event, informed the campaign of its decision. The network was then told a CNN producer would be allowed in the room to act as a media representative, just minutes before the photo op was scheduled to take place. However, print reporters and wire services were not allowed to observe the meeting, as they have been able to do at similar McCain events in the past.

The press only caught a brief glimpse of the vice presidential nominee. Palin was seated in a large chair a few feet from Karzai, with a table in between them. Seated slightly behind Palin were campaign foreign policy advisers Steve Biegun and Randy Scheunemann, who are accompanying the governor in her motorcade today.

As the pool entered, the Afghan president appeared to be telling Palin about his young son, who was born in January 2007.

Palin, her legs crossed and at one point patting her heart, was leaning in eagerly and smiling. Karzai, wearing his traditional clothes but without his trademark karakul hat, was also grinning while discussing the child. His remarks were mostly unintelligible as the noise from the clicking cameras drowned them out.

“What is his name?,” Palin asked.

“Mirwais,” Karzai responded. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.’”

“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

“He is the only one we have,” remarked Karzai.

After 29 seconds observing the meeting, CNN and other photographers covering the meeting were escorted out of the room.

Later, McCain-Palin press representatives chalked up the restrictions to a “mix-up, a miscommunication among staff.” The full pool — a print and wires reporter, along with a television producer — was then allowed in to observe Palin’s meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for 15-20 seconds.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. norb

    Maybe they talked about his brother's new menu at his restaurant in Chicago?

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. rodlang

    Joe Biden has done it again. Campaigning today, Biden said.

    "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed," Biden told Couric. "He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"

    First of all, the Market crashed in 1929...FDR wasn't President. And there was no TV at that time, radio but no TV. Biden is a baffoon and the libs complain about Palin. Give me a break. Biden is an accident waiting to happen. Too bad the dems didn't vet him.

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. TKW- New Mexico

    Palin is a joke! This doen't count as foreign policy credentials. Why can't she answer questions from the press. This election is a joke! We have a smart intelligent presidential nominee and then we have dumb and dumber.

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. R. Cooper

    They didn't want CNN to record Sarah's diverse, worldly, in-depth knowledge and discussion on foreign policy? Why not?

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Lawrence

    You gotta keep your bulldog on a short leash or they'll make a big mess !

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. JV

    29 SECONDS!?!? Where is your outrage?

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. DV

    Wow! Almost a full minute of coverage of the VP candidate with world leaders! That's almost as much experience as she had in Ireland or at the Iraqi border!

    That Palin sure has the experience we need to lead this country, and the McCain camp is proving it day after day by giving us unrestricted access to her!

    Oh no, wait...

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. An Empty Cup

    Palin needs everything they can give her since her foreign credentials – as touted – amount to seeing Russia from Alaska.

    September 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Fed Up

    God forbid they should actually capture her doing or saying something, embarrasing herself and her country at the same time. What a joke and a farce.

    Just say NO to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    GO Obama/Biden!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Susan

    What is McCain thinking of sending this obviously unprepared person out to meet world leaders as his representatives?

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Steve C.

    Well, if looking towards Russia from Alsaka gave her foreign relations credit, think how much 49 seconds of talking should buy.

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. David in Illinois

    This is totally unacceptable! If this person stands to be a heartbeat away from the presidency come January –God forbid this country elects this unqualified woman–we need to know all about her. Say what you will about Obama's lack of experience, but we've gotten to know him these past two years on the campaign trail.
    Keeping Palin sequestered is unheard of! It cannot be condoned. If she is not allowed to be vetted soon by the watchdog of our democracy, the media, she must step down!!
    Stop the lies. Stop the distortions about Obama's record. And most importantly, stop hiding Sarah Palin!

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. JD in Moraga, CA

    Later, McCain-Palin press representatives chalked up the restrictions to a “mix-up, a miscommunication among staff.”

    Yeah, right. They chalked it up only after they started taking heat for trying to play censor with Caribou Barbie's photo op. If the press were not allowed in, the campaign could say that the pair talked about "matters of grave importance to the global community" when it appears that they're really just talking about Karzai's son, and probably Palin's daughter's shotgun wedding...

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. Lipstick Wearer for Obama

    CNN is such a whimp.

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Ike (Atlanta, GA)

    I am sorry this is some crap man. How do we know if this women is ready to be the number 2 if they are not letting us the people of the US observe her in action. I can't take no more of this bull man. Why are they treating us like we are the kids who cannot who grown folks talk. I don't like and my vote is for Obama/Biden now

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Wilson - Maryland

    Palin only works for the GOP is she receives coverage.
    DON'T COVER HER!.
    If you do not receive the access WE the American people deserve to make an informed decision, DON'T COVER HER!
    A start is only a star if the lights from camera's on shinning!

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. the other jd

    We have nothing to fear but the McBush/Pain.

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Obama all the way....

    Probably because the campaign didn't want to be embarrased by the questions Plain was aksing.

    So, what's your favorite color?

    Can you see Alaska from your porch?

    Have you ever had killed a caribou with your bare hands?

    PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go home Barbie- you ain't ready!!!!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Indie Nevada Voter

    What have they got to hide? seriously... if she is so 'wonderful' and is so 'well versed in foreign policy', why kick the press out? I'll tell ya why! Cuz she doesn't know squat that is why and they don't want it broadcast to the entire country that the most she can do is exchange recipes and talk about her offspring... THAT is WHY...

    what a sham...

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Joe in MN

    "What do you think about the state of world affairs, especially the conflict in the middle east?"

    "I play hockey!"

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Secrecy. Information control. Attitude that bounces from pompous to indignant and back again. Sounds like Bush / Republican business as usual to me.

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. WhiteWomenforObama'08

    Hilarious!

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. TJ

    Here we go again: More secret government and more backdoor meetings. McBush is a "maverick" and agent for change? Isn't this the same way Bush conducted his government? If Palin is so qualified to be the next VP, let the public see her in action. Let her prove herself...if she can.

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    What's she afraid of?

    the truth

    September 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. OD'd on Clintons

    John McCain owes his country more than Sarah Palin.

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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