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. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4 Mc

    Mc Cain will wait to announce his vice president until after the democratic convention in an effort to cut obamas bounce-
    Mc Cain should choose Sarah Palin after obama snubs Hillary Clinton and obama can kiss new hampshire and a few other states goodbye when he does.

    July 21, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. Jere, Salt Lake City

    I tend to lean toward Obama, but really, for Obama and McCain both it's all about political strategy. I wouldn't count this for or against McCain. I just hope he does name a VP soon. I'm tired of waiting. You too, Obama.

    July 21, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  3. Ted

    It's gonna be Mitt.
    But it won't matter.
    Obama/Edwards 08!

    July 21, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. Ian M

    Colin Powell already said he wouldn't do it, Vig, and he's all but endorsed Barack Obama.

    July 21, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  5. Mary

    John McCain just announced he will be going on a world tour and plans to visit Persia, Abyssinia, Ceylon, Mesopotamia, Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, Siam, and Burma.

    He also hopes to meet with Nebuchadnezzar at the Iraq-Pakistan border, however, strangely, there has had no response on his official request yet.

    July 21, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  6. Joy

    This is all lies to get some media attention. McSame is selling snake-oil and no one is buying, not even the Bush.

    July 21, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. Richard

    I bet he picks phil Gramm or Romney. Two rich elitists that have no clue what the american people are going through right now.

    July 21, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Steven

    Iraqi Is Not Our Country.
    It's Time For Iraqi government take charge of its own affairs.
    The Decision Should Be Iraqis Not America, If They Want A Time Table.

    McCain Wants That Oil!

    July 21, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Andy

    Thanks goodness. With the inherently liberal media showing obvious bias towards Nobama, it's good that McCain gets at least a little attention.

    July 21, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. IR

    I refuse to vote for Obama without Hillary. So, pick Romney and you have my vote.

    July 21, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  11. Craig Shaver

    First reported by Robert Novak? Isn't he the same guy that blew Valerie Plame's cover? What a great source! We all know he sure was right about Valerie being in the CIA huh? Gotta be right about this too!

    Let me guess. It'll be someone that'll boost his stock with conservatives – you know, make them forget his abortion flip-flops, his sleazy divorce, his various positions on taxes, drilling in Alaska, and the fact that Rudy supports him.

    July 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  12. Jason

    McCain will show again why the GOP or Goofy Old Party can't imagine anyone of color in their ranks. He will undoubtedly choose another white guy and stick with, well if its broken, don't fix it plan.

    He is old and his politics are old and outdated. I think McCain should go to Czechoslovakia and announce he has captured Hitler and he is going to fight the North Koreans back to Atlantis..

    I am from Arizona and he is making a fool of himself and MY state. He isn't even a native of Arizona.. So John go back to the Panama Canal zone and run for President of the Canal Zone, you crazy old codger!

    July 21, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  13. Remy

    McCain is a lame duck. He never get any footage in press.

    July 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  14. Robert

    After the terrible weekend McCain had this is pretty much his last option to steal some thunder from the Obama freightrain. This foreign trip has gone better than I think anyone could have imagined. It started Friday with the leaked info about Maliki wanting a 16 month time table and it hasn't stoped since. Add that in with the McCain Iraq/Pakistan border Gaffe and it hasn't been a good 72 for McCain.

    My bet is, he makes the announcement the day after Obama's huge speech in Germany. Once it's seen in America that Obama can pull in 50,000+ people in a foreign country for one of his speeches his poll number immediatly go up 5-7%. McCain has to stop that swing and will pull out his vp choice then.

    Before this trip I would have said McCain would wait until the day after Obama's acceptance speech, but if he waits that long he might never be able to catch Obama.

    Also, remember Obama is more than likely to make his VP choice before the Olympics. Which in my best guess is between Biden and Clinton. If he pulls that out right before the Olympics you can bet on another 3-5% jump. Since McCain is already 3-5% nationally in the polls he can't afford to go down 11-17% going into the Olympics and into the DNC's convention which will give Obama even a bigger push.

    July 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  15. Hey McCain, Iraq & Pakistan do not share a border.

    McCain, is old, dull, forgetful, and boring. Nothing coukld bring excitement to his campaign. Even if he does announce a running mate this week I will continue to be interested in what Senator Obama is doing.

    July 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. David in Illinois

    McCain-Romney perhaps? Ugh, what a stinker ticket that would be. In fact, any ticket with McCain is a horrible proposition. No matter the choice for veep, the true ticket is McCain-Bush.

    July 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  17. Tre

    All for it. Obama's veep pick Hagel will then crush mccains thunder 3 days after the mccain camp makes the announcement.

    July 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  18. Jim

    In an effort to show that he is the real candidate of change, McCain will appoint a much younger man to appeal to the youth vote.

    The leading candidate, Methusaleh, could not be reached for comment.

    July 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  19. Lucas, Nashville TN


    Will it be Statler or Waldorf?

    July 21, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  20. Shannon

    Oh, so now that him and his warmonger buddies have figured out that they can't scare us with war talk, since that is all they know (I swear these guys are caught in a time warp), they are trying something new to divert our attention to McShame the warmonger.

    I can just hear McCain now, Hey everybody look at me I can stand on my head and twirl a baton.

    July 21, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  21. Jason

    I doubt there will be announcement. Announcing your intention to make an announcement will get some attention.

    Anyway, I am still predicting McCain/Jindal.

    July 21, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  22. Robert

    I'm smelling McCain-Romney

    July 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  23. Val from MA

    It is going to be Mitt Romney. The campaign has previously reported that McCain may announce his running mate right before the Olympics were to begin – and for a good reason. The announcement, in my view, will once again remind people of Romney's marvelous work he did at the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and his ability to turn around our failing economy as well.

    McCain/Romney 08! The winning ticket!

    July 21, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. Trevor

    So, let me get this straight.

    CNN is reporting that the McCain camp is talking about the possibility of announcing the VP candidate, and that they're most likely only doing it in order to get attention from the media?

    July 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  25. Kate

    Someone's desperate.

    That's the last card you hold, John - wouldn't you wait until you NEED it? Oh, yeah. You've got nothing.

    July 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
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