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. Jane, MD

    First, you become a 71yr old cry baby because no one is paying you any attention and you are downright jealous, and if that does not work start a VP rumor. DESPERATE!.

    July 21, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  2. Dylan Los Angeles

    Please no Rudy Guilani or Mitt Romney or yet another Bush

    July 22, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. NY

    The VP nominations are decided....

    NObama/Pastor Wright

    July 22, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. Mark Columbia, MO

    McCain should steal Huckabee's former running mate, Chuck Norris – then he'd really have a fighting chance at winning the election.

    Yawn. Snooze. McLame lost all credibility when he rolled over to Bush and Rove back in 2000.

    Obama/Biden (or Hagel)

    July 22, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. If McCain was a Spice Girl...

    ...He'd be Old Spice.

    July 22, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  6. Mike in Tx

    Maybe he will name the players from the Green Bay Packers offensive line he gave when he was a pow or was it the Steelers offensive line he named ( insert crickets soungs )well maybe he will flip a coin,he probably will flip flop on that too.Like every thing else.

    July 22, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |

    I set and listened tonight to the great new STAR ON THE HORIZON being interviewed by ABC News in IRAQ. From the first time he gave a public speech until now where he is being questioned by a news reporter I have never heard a man craw fish so much in my life. A craw fish for you Novices is a shell fish that swims and crawls backwards. This is what Obama is doing on his Iraq policy. He said one thing back when and now that the surge is working he does not lay the credit at the feet of all the BRAVE SOLDIERS WHO HAVE FOUGHT THEIR HEARTS OUT AND GAVE UP THEIR LIVES FOR VICTORY. But instead he claims it's because the Summi Tribemen have come together and do not want Al-Qaeda there anymore. IF IT WERE NOT SO SERIOUS A THING AS A MAN WANTING TO BE PRESIDENT WHO IS NOT QUALIFIED SUCH AS OBAMA THIS WOULD BE LAUGHABLE. BUT FOLKS I'M TALKING TO YOU FROM THE HEART NOW. THIS MAN IS NOT READY OR FIT TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. HE KNOWS IT. HE DON'T CARE. OBAMA SUPPORTERS DO NOT HAVE BRAINS ENOUGH TO KNOW IT. SO IT IS UP TO THE REST OF US, REPUBLICANS, HILLARY SUPPORTERS AND INDEPENDENTS TO INSURE THIS MAN GETS NO CLOSER TO THE WHITE HOUSE THAN THE FRONT FENCE THAT IS UNDER GUARD. HE WILL DESTROY AMERICA. To show you the mentality of these OBAMA supporters one made a comment under another article THAT IF OBAMA DID NOT GET THE PRESIDENCY THERE WAS GOING TO BE A REVOLUTION IN AMERICA. I SAY TO HIS IGNORANCE IF I WAS YOU I'D KEEP MY STUPID MOUTH SHUT UNLESS SOMEONE TAKES YOU SERIOUS. THEN WHAT YOU GONNA DO.

    July 22, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. roger, colorado

    How pathetic. After 25 years as a Washington pol the only way he can get attention is by trying to step on Obama's trip to the mid-east and Europe. It also shows how shallow his campaign operatives are. Why name a veep this week and have to share the spotlight with the next President of the United States?

    July 22, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. jt

    McCain 08.

    Obama the great pretender. No experience. Not qualified.>>

    July 22, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  10. Mike in Tx


    July 22, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  11. An Independent Please post this!

    Should be Mitt Romney

    John Mccain = National Security Powerhouse
    Mitt Romney = Economy Powerhouse

    Please post this!

    July 22, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  12. Fleur du Mal

    Sad, sad, sad.
    And just the teensiest bit transparent.

    July 22, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  13. Clinton/Clinton '08

    McCain selects Hillary Clinton and steals the election!

    July 22, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. DC

    Wow he is desperate

    July 22, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  15. E.C.Coleman

    Hold off, there's no rush to name a Vice President, Senator McCain.

    July 22, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  16. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    The first step on the road to victory.

    McCain 2008

    July 22, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  17. Orange

    Mc Cain/ Clinton
    Mc Cain you want interest, add Hillary.

    July 22, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  18. The Truth

    Obama's Thunder
    Now that is just hilarious !

    Obama takes a weekend trip to the middle east and now he is an expert?

    McCain's choice for VP can come at any time he is ready to announce

    July 22, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  19. MoxieGurl

    awwww.... Poor McCain has to reveal the one last interesting thing he has left because Obama is dominating the media this week....

    Got Attention?

    July 22, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  20. Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    I hope McCain does go with Jindal. there goes the Obama is too "inexperienced" to be president smear.

    July 22, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  21. Dani

    He's naming his VP now because he knows the Obama camp will be dealing with the backlash that's coming when Hillary isn't named as VP. Smart move, especially if he picks Romney who was a big favorite in Republican camps. They will be picking up speed while Obama is mired in the never ending drama that seems to surround him.

    July 22, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  22. Tim from Ohio

    An announcement this week would take away from media attention on Obama's visit to Iraq. I expect the Obama campaign to announce their VP choice in the next few weeks. Both campaigns should make an official announcement by August 1st.

    July 22, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  23. Kucinich / Paul '08


    July 22, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  24. streetsmart

    Wow! McCain is really desperate for attention...First he dared Obama to go overseas and Obama called his bluff and now that his tactics has backfired he has to prematurely raise the ante…so much for the talk about good judgment and experience.

    Also, with the duds he has in mind for VP, this strategy will almost certainly backfire as well if he chose to deploy…

    July 22, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  25. AC

    Anything that gets the Obama-biased press from dealing with a topic other than Obama is good. Make that...very good.

    July 22, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19