July 22nd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
15 years ago

McCain camp: Talk of a VP announcement this week

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/21/art.mccain07.gi.jpg caption="McCain aides hope VP speculation grabs some of the spotlight from Obama."] (CNN) - Sources in John McCain's campaign confirm to Dana Bash and Gloria Borger that there have been recent discussions high in the campaign about the possibility of naming a running mate this week.

One source tells CNN that “no decision has been made” by the candidate. Another says that some within the campaign are arguing to hold off until Obama has named his decision “so there is an opportunity to counter-program.” In any case, a campaign source adds, this does mean that the choice has been “narrowed” in McCain’s mind to the point where he could, if he were so inclined, spring a decision this week.

Campaign spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker said Monday “there will be no announcement this afternoon.”

The prospect of a McCain vice presidential announcement this week, first reported by Bob Novak on the Human Events Web site, would obviously change the subject from Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East and Europe.

In fact, even some of McCain’s own advisers admit that just leaking the possibility of a VP selection could take some of the attention away from Obama - which could, in fact, be what the campaign is trying to do.

A senior adviser said the report is a “head fake” meant to help distract attention from Barack Obama’s headline-grabbing overseas trip.

But when pressed, this adviser said that was their public explanation because they did not want to give the impression the campaign was undisciplined: “Because someone is an idiot, so we have to explain it as a tactic.”

One GOP strategist says it would be a "mistake" to name a vice presidential pick this week. Another Republican source involved in top-level McCain campaign meetings - including senior level discussions of the VP search process - tells John King that "No. It'll be closer to the convention and after Obama picks his.”

Still this source says “everything” has been discussed, from naming a running mate early - with some talk that would have resulted in the naming of the bottom half of the ticket before now - to waiting until during the convention to give the GOP drama after the Democratic convention in Denver.

Other sources say the "leading" plan is still the one that has McCain naming his running mate after the Democratic convention - a plan that would give the campaign the time it needs to roll out a vice presidential choice in the right way. Sources in the campaign say that all options have been discussed, but that no decision has yet been made.

Ironically, the end result of the fresh round of VP speculation is that the headlines may be taking attention away from stories that would give a boost to the Arizona senator's presidential effort, including their base-stirring charge that the New York Times is biased, a renewed focus on his early advocacy of the surge and Obama's opposition, and the news that conservative Christian and long-time critic James Dobson might endorse him after all.

McCain has just added a trip to meet with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday, a meeting that is also guaranteed to attract press attention.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (454 Responses)
  1. Chris - Seattle

    If all goes as planned, Obama will make a fine President! It's in the air! If you cant feel the enthusiasm around the world for Obama then you're just stuck on stupid, period! BTW a lot of folks are really stuck there, not by any fault of there own, so please if you can try and spread the word that:

    -he's not Muslim...
    -he's not un-patriotic...
    -he's not selfish, absorbed or narrow-minded...
    -he's not inexperienced... & he's not the anti-christ...

    -he is, most importantly, on our team!

    Team Planet Earth that is!!!

    Obama'08 – '16

    July 21, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. from the desk of, DM of Texas

    Powell will never sign on with McSane

    July 21, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  3. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Obama just might as well quit now that McCain is showing such brilliant signs as a strategist. Cleverly and deceptively drawing all of the media away from Obama on the mere whisper of his VP announcement; then, with a brilliant stroke, waiting for Obama to go first so he can offset, counter, and stymie with his blockbuster counter selection.
    He should choose Petreus. It sounds like he a crush on him.

    July 21, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  4. Kuljah

    McSame has some great VP choices. He has talked to Bill OReilley, Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs. Wouldn't the country be in (good) hands? Jessee Helms was considered, but he's gone.

    July 21, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. case

    He will not announce now, but just drop hints to generate media attention. Pure and simple.

    July 21, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  6. William Whitelaw

    If thet dont choose huckabee its over and the dem. won so be very cautious mccain

    July 21, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. gene

    Vig... it's time to face the harsh reality. NOTHING will put Hillary back on the ticket as the presidential nominee, NOTHING! It's not going to happen... move on... it's time to stop the mourning process and move on to acceptance. Please... just get a life already. And although Powell would make be a GREAT pick... I'm pretty sure that Powell is leaning towards Obama... so I doubt he would accept that nomination.

    That being said.. I can't think of anyone honorable that would actually run with McCain... only someone two faced and corrupt would run with McCain... maybe Leiberman? Eithe way... He's gonna lose.

    July 21, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  8. Michigan Voter !!!

    Obama is All Hype !!! . The Only Ones Who Are Paying Attention To His Daily Circus , Are The Ones Who have Fallen For The Obama Bag Of Tricks !!! . I'm A Life Long Democrat , And This Election Cycle . I'm Voting For Sen. John McCain . No Matter Who He Picks As His VP.

    Democrats Like Myself Will Be The Reason John McCain Wins The The White House in Novenber !!!!

    July 21, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  9. ED FL

    Who will it be, His little suck up puppet who is stuck in his REAR pocket and has to keep reminding him of who and what is he saying, Or Romney who will steal the spot light from him on every term ,comment or statement he makes while hoping he can not complete or serve his term.

    July 21, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  10. Jon in WA

    Well yeah. McCain is boring and has been too loose with his tongue. He needs something to prevent his campaign from going the ways of Bob Dole's.

    July 21, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. Mike in Indiana

    What is all the hype over Piyush Jindal as VP?? He has been governor less time than Obama has been in the Senate, he represents a state that SHOULD be solid for McCain, and he has no national standing.

    Romney or Huckabee would make sense. Sara Pallin would be an interesting (maybe risky) choice. Fred Thompson would be a safe (if somewhat dull) choice.

    July 21, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  12. jason

    McCain/Clinton 08-12.
    You never know..........

    July 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. tai

    Somebody needs a little attention....awww.

    July 21, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  14. jm from sc

    Vig, I can not believe people are still trying to figure a way to give Hillary the nomination. Give it up, Hillary was out ever since the PA primary.

    It doesn't matter who McCain selects, he will still lose in November.

    July 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Perusing-through


    Poor, poor McSame. If he head fakes the media on VP talks, he buys (at best) 48-hours of media coverage before the media catches on that it is a campaign head fake. If he announces his VP choice this week, he forever locks in his VP choice while simultaneously leaving Barack the advantage to counter-trump McSame's VP choice.

    Team Obama has got to be feeling real good knowing they are wielding their campaign 'strength' in a way that leaves Camp McSame in a position where they can only react.

    GOD Bless America!
    GOD Bless Obama!

    July 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  16. James


    July 21, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. Eileen from Maine

    In a daring bid to wrench attention from his Democratic rival, John McCain today embarked on an historic first-ever visit to the Internet.

    Given that the Arizona Republican had never logged onto the Internet before, advisors acknowledged that his first visit to the World Wide Web was fraught with risk.

    But with his Democratic rival Barack Obama making headlines with his tour of the Middle East and Europe, the McCain campaign felt that they needed to "come up with something equally bold for John to do," said one advisor.

    Aides said that the senator’s journey to the Internet will span five days and will take him to such far-flung sites as Amazon.com, eBay & Face book.
    With a press retinue watching, Sen. McCain logged onto the Internet at 9:00 AM Sunday, paying his first-ever visit ever to Mapquest.com.
    "I can’t get this [expletive] thing to work," Sen. McCain said as he struggled with his computer’s mouse, causing his wife Cindy to prompt him to add that he was "just kidding."

    Having pronounced his visit to Map quest a success, Sen. McCain continued onto Weather.com and Yahoo! Answers, where he inquired as to the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. Sen. McCain said that he had embarked on his visit to the internet to allay any fears that he is too out-of-touch to be president, adding that he plans to take additional steps to demonstrate that he is comfortable with today’s technology: "In the days and weeks ahead, you will be seeing me rock out with my new Walkman."

    July 21, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. michael

    I don't get it, why is McCain not picking C. Rice?

    The ticket grabs a share of the black vote, Obama's bread and butter.

    Rice responds well to a possible Clinton and the female vote.

    Rice puts to rest the talk of McCain VP has to be ready to be called into a president's position.

    If possible, she adds even more experience to the ticket on all aspects.

    July 21, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. Mark

    John McCain has my vote. Colin Powell is a great choice for running mate but Condi Rice would have been a great choice also. To bad she won't be in the line up.

    July 21, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. ken cincinnati ohio

    McCain has no desperation. He will win the white house come november...Obama is only getting attention because he is a minority running for president..Its been that way all along and he will fail...mark my words and write it down...He Will Fail........go McCain

    July 21, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. Denise Groves

    I really do not care who Mccain picks, but all that I ask is he looks as if he still has some life in 'em!

    July 21, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Jody Monroe

    No one cares.

    July 21, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. Thomas, Illinois

    Vig-I total agree, except, Powell's leaning towards Obama...After what the Bush adminastration done to him I don't blame him-–Obama/Powell 08

    July 21, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  24. Rave

    Pick a VP or Pick his nose..nobody cares. He will be un-successfull to take off the attention that Obama is getting with his successfull trip.
    McPain with his very limited brain can try all his monkey acts.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 21, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  25. Elly

    Who Cares!!!!

    @Rise..... outer mongolia sounds like a great place for McSame

    July 21, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
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