July 22nd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
13 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

    All the national polls say that over 60% of the people want Romney and his huge free enterprise back ground. I think that would be a great choice because we need a successful business man to run this country.

    July 22, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  2. Noakes

    Novak was played. McCain would be an idiot to announce this early and lose not only one of the biggest free newsgrabs a campaign can have but also give Obama the chance to pick a VP to counter. As I say, McCain would be an idiot to announce now...which, of course, makes it possible that he'll announce now.

    July 22, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  3. Enough!!!

    The American people are getting wiser and wiser as to the real motive to go to Iraq; oil and Iraqi wealth. Thank God for the info age. It is harder and harder to feed the people BS anymore, so whomever he chooses, it really doesn't matter. The American people are better informed w/each day.

    July 22, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. Don Mitchell

    Oh John, for God's sake.......you just CAN'T take the attention away from Obama - no matter what you do. Yawn.........time for another nap, Grandpa.

    July 22, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  5. Max

    I like that the media goes out of its way to mention obama by mentioning how the media goes out of its way to mention obama: it's all nicely cyclical.

    July 22, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  6. Kentucky

    I cannot wait till the liberals in this country are stunned in November.

    July 22, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  7. 17 year old future politician

    Hey Lani in Los Angeles, you are absolutely right...he is trying to buy media time...sadly so, the thing is nobody really cares who McCains VP is...you hear all this talk about Bobby Jindal, but in picking Jindal he will kill his inexperience talk towards Obama

    People will be like: "ok so inexperience doesn't play a role in being the 2nd in command? So what if your unable to complete all of your term? Should we just kick Jindal to the curb and look for another person to take your spot?" Picking Jindal can prove to be fatal in his campaign

    Obama/Sebelius 08'

    July 22, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  8. chris

    Poor old guy, I almost feel sorry for him when he can't even have someone write a op-ed piece of sufficient quality that the NY Times will run it. Gramps is plain desperate at this point to generate some news for his boring campaign.

    July 22, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  9. mo

    democrats, ughhh cant you shuddup already

    July 22, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  10. Daniel

    I thought McCain was the guy running on experience? If experience mearns starting every sentence with BO and finishing it with the "Surge", I will take the intelligent guy. This is beginning to remind me of the former NY mayor Rudy Guilliani who should be in the guinness world records for incorporating "9/11", 'Ground Zero" and "Al qaeda" into every sentence.

    July 22, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  11. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Desperate times, call for desperate measures. Barack is forcing McOldy to do what he doesn't want to do, showing his (Barack's) political strength.

    McOldy is going down hill, and he's going down fast.

    July 22, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  12. A Recovering Republican

    I guess if he can't get his op ed that rehashes old speeches printed and he has nothing new to say or do, he needs to keep his name in the news somehow, so why not announce the VP now?

    10 years sober

    July 22, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  13. ACE

    This reeks of desperation.

    Remember when meeting directly with our enemies was deemed reckless appeasement? That's before McCain & Co. realized that we can't afford a war in Iran nor can we afford to continue alienating other countries.

    Remember when McCain compared Obama's foreign policy to Carter? That reckless appeaser? That was before the Bush administration started setting up more diplomatic posts in Iran - the first time since 1979.

    Remember when Obama said troops should be drawn expeditiously, but with care, so that the Iraqi government could actually exercise some sovereignty and responsibility over their own affairs.

    I'm just shocked! SHOCKED! That Obama has been right all along, while McCain has been trying to hold so desperately to his unrealistic, ideological view of the world.

    July 22, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  14. Who cares

    Who would side with an obvious loser except for some national campaigning experience. Second, I wonder whether Sen McCain CAN express a full sentence without reading a piece of paper. Will he be allowed to do so everywhere he goes to represent the US? He's really too old. He gets my sympathy. Even pres. Bush last week said he's 62 and feels kind of too old to remember facts.

    July 22, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  15. Sammy

    Has anybody read Mccain's letter that the NYT rejected? The guy has nothing to say other that war, war, war... If he's so consumed with war, why shouldn't he vie for a post as "secretary of war" and take the children of hawks like Lieberman with him to fight his wars? Afterall, he emphasized last week that he knows how to win wars, and he's not been taken to task to list the wars he successfully executed. Any wonder that he needs some magic to agin traction?

    July 22, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. Obamican in Tacoma, Washington

    Who cares???? The real news is that Obama is busy restoring our face in the world while McCain, Bush and Cheney are busy making love to the sounds of oil drilling off our coasts.

    July 22, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  17. Billy Johnson

    Mitt Mormon for VP; nothing like a cult member to try to boost McSame's numbers.

    July 22, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  18. Who cares

    McBush, Please go play chess on the beach in FL

    July 22, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  19. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Vig July 21st, 2008 8:20 pm ET

    Go with Colin Powell and McCain's poll numbers will sky rocket, Obama's will fade and Hillary Clinton will be placed in nomination.
    =======================================================

    A lame attempt at a fantasy of yours, sad but a fantasy is all it is and will remain. Colin Powell even likes Obama and has said as much. Hillary is DONE. They will not and CANNOT overturn the nomination unless he dies overseas and that just ain't gonna happen. Nice try tho.

    July 22, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  20. Naomi

    LOL.....are you serious Vig?

    Colin Powell wil never run with McCain't....

    July 22, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  21. chris in oregon

    Whatever. Wake me when its over. Anyhow remember its about the judgment to enter this war. The intelligence was made up by the hawks. In other words, the people of this great nation was lied to by the leaders in charge. The reasoning was ill conceived. Someone needs to account for this deception. McCain supported it blindly without questioning the motive. Bye John. Greetings Obama.

    July 22, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  22. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    WASHINGTON — A top foreign policy adviser to John McCain has lobbied the National Security Council, Congress and the State Department on behalf of Stephen Payne, the Texas businessman and longtime Republican fundraiser caught up in a controversy over whether he sought to sell access to the Bush White House.

    According to records on file with Congress, McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann lobbied the Senate and House on behalf of Payne’s firm, Worldwide Strategic Partners Inc., in 2002.

    Scheunemann also lobbied the National Security Council and the State Department regarding energy issues in the Caspian region in 2005 and 2006 on behalf of another Payne firm, Caspian Alliance Inc., according to the records.

    The McCain campaign said Scheunemann did not lobby on any specific legislation on behalf of either company, said McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers. The fees to Scheunemann’s firm amounted to $50,000.

    On Monday, McCain’s campaign said that from 2002 to 2006, Scheunemann periodically engaged in consulting relationships with the two companies and that Scheunemann was never on the payroll of either firm, but that he was an occasional outside expert consultant.

    July 22, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. MarkieBee

    Bobby Jindal? If the Repugnantcans are going to ding Obama for a perceived lack of experience what do they have to say about Jindal? He's a raising star for the wrong team, but a curious pick.

    July 22, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  24. Mark

    Some of these comments are so lame... if you support Obama, is it only cause you think supporting McCain is like supporting Bush? Because then you really aren't supporting Obama, you just don't want to support McCain...
    and for those of you who support Obama, do you even know what he stands for? I mean, before he started to sit on the fence so he could easily get off on either side to appease whoever he is with just so he can get their vote...
    What does Obama stand for? I mean, he made clear what his stance was on Iraq and Afghanistan before he even visited there...
    I really am not sure who I am voting for on Election Day, but at least I know it won't be Obama. He is just a figurehead with someone pulling the strings behind the scene, telling what to do and what to say. Why would you ever support someone like that to be the leader of your country?
    Obama's team is saying if you vote for McCain, it is as though you are voting for a third term for Bush...
    I say if you vote for Obama, you are voting for a second term for Jimmy Carter...

    July 22, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  25. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    McCain can pick whomever he wants – they're both going down in flames!!!

    July 22, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
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