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. Peter

    This wont tarnish Obama's media army. But it will make me pause for 5 seconds to see that name...its most likely going to be Romney..after all, McCain is having a harding time unifying his party then Obama with his

    July 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  2. TonyinKentucky

    #1 reason it doesn't matter is who ever it is, is even less appealing than McCain.

    Mayor Noun, 9/11, verb, 9/11?
    Criminal Condi?
    Carly The Outsourcer?
    Dr Phil?
    Lazy Campaigner Extraordinaire Thompson?

    None of these folks are people we want to be 2nd in line. Palin is about the only electable Republican but she's still on the oil, big brother, and banks band wagon, like all the rest.

    The GOP really should withdrawn and go sit in the corner and think about their lives.

    July 21, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  3. Diogenes

    Same 'ol, same 'ol.


    Hmmm...a discredited Powell? Intriguing, all the same.

    July 21, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  4. Adri


    July 21, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  5. Michael, Lorain, Ohio

    Desparate moves from a desparate candidate. I'm waiting for the straight talk express to either put up or shut up with regards to the VP selection.

    July 21, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  6. informed voter

    Pick Powell and Obama's poll numbers will drop and Hillary will get the nomination?? Seriously?

    Not gonna happen. Powell is not on the table, and even if he were, two advocates of the Iraq war very well could have the opposite effect.

    If McCain should choose Powell, the only poll numbers to drop will be his.

    July 21, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  7. NW

    Go ahead McBush, pick you VP so the American people will know he is just unique like the rest of you, in fact the worst than ever. We will not take off our focus on Senator Obama's trip because that's a very important issu the country face right now. Your VP won't change the dynamic of what the country face right at this moment. We still need a candidate which will bring America together as well as the people. The way you always attack and talk about the negativities of other people especially Senatore Obama is not going to be survived in this 21first century. You are still hanging on with the old style we all getting tired of, fear and smear. Not good you know.

    July 21, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  8. Texas Voter

    Bobby Jindal???? Why would we out-source for the Vice President? Haven't we given enough jobs away? Colin Powell or Condi Rice!

    July 21, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  9. Miguel Rivera

    I hate to say it, but McCain isn't half the man he was back in 2000.
    McCain has $40 million in the bank, and why does he need more? Obama has only $1 million; I guess we know who the real "elitist" is. McFlipFlop.

    July 21, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  10. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Sounds like someone's desperate to grab the headlines back. LOL Too funny.

    July 21, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  11. Derek

    Hey Kyle, how's that high school education treating you? You're the sort of person Obama thrives on.

    July 21, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  12. David Peter

    Who would say yes to McMurder

    July 21, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. Sue in MI

    Does it matter? I can't imagine there are many people even WANTING to jump on this sinking ship. If he makes many more geographical errors (the BORDER between Iraq and Pakistan???) I think they should seek some medical advice. He obviously can't take the pressure.

    July 21, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. TerryDo

    Oh Poor Baby Obama, someone might steal his thunder.

    He will never be elected president, the media make have a boner for this guy, but the American people can see right through fluff and cotton candy...

    I wonder how many flip flops Obama will come home with, how many things he will refine, and tell us about how much foreign experience he now has because he has spent at least 24 hours in certain countries.

    July 21, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. arlene,CA

    McSame is getting desperate for HELP! He needs someone close by at all times to correct his errors, remind him of what hearings he has attended, proper names of foreign countries, & especially because Obama is such a big success on his trip over seas. It will be just more of the same an extension of McBush. More lies,failed policies, & does anyone really listen when you speak?? Low energy & NO charisma. Obama for President 08-16

    July 21, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  16. Ilene

    Even talking about this is taking away from Obama. Shame on McCain, pulling out the stops to get attention. People, stop talking about it and give Obama his dues.

    July 21, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  17. James D

    lol.... desperation. It's Romney...big whoop-di-do.

    FIrst Gramm, the former soft porn investor, then this morning McCain says Irag borders Pakistan. Wow. Just hilarious.

    Obama is gonna win 38-40 states.

    The fat lady is warming up...Obama/Biden 08

    July 21, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. mike

    McCain problems is as old as the republican party itself.Do anything to get power politricking and desperation.People already know this and are tired of it.If you are not good enough,it simply means you are not good no matter the dirty politricks you play.McCain should just give up and let the people have what they want.OBAMA ispires and gives hope which McCain does not do.McCain is simply a big chip of the old block.The people are simply tired and need someone who will breathe fresh life into them and renew their believe and confidence in government.McCain and the republican party should have known by now that the worst way to fight OBAMA is to throw dirt at him because the more dirt is thrown at him, the cleaner and more handsome and inspiring he is to the people.

    July 21, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  19. James in Oregon

    Whoever McCain picks better be a fast talker because , he will be spending all his time correcting McCain..........LOL.

    July 21, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  20. Bob

    It's an interesting thought by McCain, but ultimately a losing proposition. The VP announcement is a one-shot deal. If McCain announces now, he has little chance to manipulate the conversation at convention time. While it may seem to him short-term gratification, he is ceding the initiative and the conversation to Senator Obama. Something has to be done soon, but I don't think this is it.

    July 21, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  21. The Real Truth

    I just saw McCain's new ad blaming Obama for the gas prices and I couldn't believe he would stoop that low. I have had it with the Republican party! They never tell the truth any more and all they do is play on fears and lies...and to top it off they nominate a lame candidate that does not reflect the Republican values. I will never vote Republican ever again.

    Who cares unless it's Jesus? Only he could resurrect McCain's chances.

    July 21, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. joemarsh


    July 21, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. JOHN


    July 21, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  24. Ron

    So sad that after months of complaining that Senator Obama hadn't stepped foot into Iraq, Senator McCain is showing us the envy he feels now that someone else is in the spotlight. Maybe he, like Bush, should think before they speak next time.

    July 21, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  25. Gail in SC

    Senator McCain will have some explaining to do if he picks either Bobby Jindal or Mitt Romney(I think he is going to be JM's choice) . Bobby Jindal is just barely over the age requirement in the Constitution to be president and John McCain loves to talk about BO being young and inexperienced.That would be harder for him to do if Jindal is his man. Mitt Romney never served in the military and John McCain has decided this election year that having done so is a requirement to be CIC. At least it is for Sen. Obama , but wasn't ever in the case of George Bush , the man that he has modeled himself after. So Romney doesn't meet his criteria either . Makes it hard to try to make that a mark against Se, Obama when your man never served and made the remark that his sons serve by trying to get him elected.
    just sayin'

    July 21, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
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