July 22nd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
14 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. Colin H

    I am starting to lose interest... I can't wait til its all over in November. This is turning into a "drama queen" election.

    July 21, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  2. Wisconsin

    The problem is will his pick even matter.

    McCain has fail on to many issues for any VP to fix.

    July 21, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. John

    If Mccain chooses Romney, then Obama should choose Hillary.

    Either way it represents Unity and Hillary could beat Romney in debates.


    July 21, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. VZ

    Who would want to be his VP? This is a joke right?

    July 21, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  5. Loretta from California

    Well I don't think it will make much difference who he picks. I do wish he would stop "whining" about his lack of media attention. It really is getting old. I THINK THE COVERAGE THAT HE RECEIVES IS SUFFICIENT. We already know what he is thinking.


    July 21, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  6. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    yawn.... a loser who'll be forgotten in a year

    July 21, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  7. Joe Reg

    Mcain/Jeb Bush 08


    July 21, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  8. skip

    @ Rise America Rise

    And just tonight the campaign has leaked that McCain plans to visit the troubled North Korea-Brazil border.

    July 21, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. felix


    July 21, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  10. Mike, Louisiana

    I would be REALLY nice if Jindal was required to resign as governor in order to run for Vice President, which would make Mitch Landrieu the governor. Then McCain & Jindal would be defeated in November and we could be rid of BOTH of those idiots.

    July 21, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  11. Wood


    If he does that, that'll be the end of his languishing campaign..

    July 21, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  12. twister61

    The Republican Party needs to throw out McCain,and draft Mitt Romney,who knows everything about the economy! Go Mitt!

    July 21, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  13. libby

    Who cares???? Most likely another old fart like him. He could never still Obama's spotlight. Old gatekeeper.

    July 21, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  14. Joe, Chicago

    McCain should pick Bush!

    July 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  15. Robert

    I hope Romney is the VP, because he has the best vision and experience with the economy! No other politician running for pres or potential vp even comes closes.

    July 21, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Bill Morrison LaGrangeville, New York

    CNN is being tricked into showing bias against Senator Obama by the right wing elements. This is not new, and is just beginning to fire up. Anderson Cooper and other regulars who report on CNN have started to shift as demonstrated on Monday evening, July 21st. I am amazed at the impact of people like O'Riley and Hannety. Most of the time CNN does a good job of reporting the news, but once the tipping point takes place CNN caves in; mostly I am surprised by Anderson Cooper.
    Please just report! . Unbiased reporting is a key for all Americans so we can make a thoughtful decision when we vote.

    July 21, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. Sherry

    This is just an attention getter from the McCain Camp. They are just playing with the media to get attention away from Obama's trip. I find it amusing that McCain was so vocal about Obama going on this trip and now that he is, and it has garnered so much attention, McCain is like a spoiled child just begging for attention. He will do whatever he can to get attention, even the pretense of announcing his VP choice. What a whiner!

    July 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. bk

    The media is so biased. They did it to Clinton and now McCain. This is the most unfair election I have ever seen. At least in November there are no caucauses to bully people and call them racist. The people will speak in November not the biased media.

    July 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. starfire426, Salem VA

    TO: RISE AMERICA RISE...you should apply for the WH spokesperson job in the new administration!!!! You're witty!!!

    TO VIG: "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are..."

    July 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. CAW in MD

    Vig, dude, get over it already. Still waiting for 8-tracks to make a big comeback?

    July 21, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. Matt from Indiana

    Maybe he will pick huckabee, making his poll numbers drop to zero. Or maybe, george bush will be picked, another perfect choice for McCain, since they are the same person. No matter how you put it, McCain is a freedom hating conservatives as all die hard conservatives.

    July 21, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Will, NJ

    Woo hoo...

    July 21, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  23. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    He's confused; he doesn't know what day it is. He has been planning to make his announcement during the Democratic convention.

    July 21, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  24. Mark

    McCain/Mickey Mouse 2008

    July 21, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  25. Ron Nebraska

    I think it's fairly obvious that God does not forgive stupidity. So you people willing to elect John McCain to continue the morally corrupt policies of Bush/Cheney might think about how you'll spend eternity.

    July 21, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
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