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. david

    McCain needs to speak up directly instead of having his little minnons spead fairytales. McCain hasnt voted on a bill in the senate in 5 months. Obama has! McCain is scared to take issue of anything because he knows Americans will judge him. But Obama isnt afraid to be judged.! Mccain needs to come out from his shadow and start being held accountable. This world is no game, and McCain needs to realize the outcome of their narrrow thoughts.

    The United States is the most hated country on earth. When barack Obama is president. it will send the most thunderous message to the world that the USA Is BACK!

    2 views: Mccain or Obama?

    McCain, there will be NO celebrations In the streets of the world, or OBAMA which will easily have 20 million people world wide celebrating in the streets. The celebration for a new beginning.

    I gaurentee, if Obama wins, Global Oil Prices will fall by atleast 20 dollars the next 3 day!

    July 22, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  2. Connie

    Voting for any Republican is a vote for even more corporate welfare.

    July 22, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  3. John G

    I think it's funny how often democrats have to resort to name calling (the rhyming is clever though-maybe next week we can cover finger painting).

    Let's try something new. No name calling. No cheap shots. Stick to the issues and may the best candidate win-legitimately not by getting the rest of the candidates off the ballot due to technicalities or by getting something handed to him by the allegedly "democratic" national committee

    July 22, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  4. Tom

    Will it be Joe Lieberman? I think he'll look for someone in Obama's age bracket.

    On another note, if you needed a reason to marginalize McSame just take a look at that video of him with Bush #41. A couple of old befuddled geezers fumbling around trying to find their mark for their "Anti Obama" photo op on Monday. OMG! Those 2 fossils' ages total 156! Americans need fresh talent in the White House. NOT same old tired GOP stalwarts.

    July 22, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  5. mollygonz

    Just keep desperately trying to take the focus away from Obama. How sad your campaign is.

    July 22, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. Lone McCain Blogger

    McSame = Sad

    July 22, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  7. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Whoever the VP is, he/she will not bring him to victory. This is simply a desperate attempt to steal the limelite so to speak. The media is focused on Obama's overseas trip and this guy can't find a television camera.

    Ladies and gentlemen: It is official, the repubs are p–sing their pants.

    July 22, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. Funky stuff

    If it's Romney he's finished....

    July 22, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Redneck John - Arkansas

    I cant believe Mccan said "iraqi-paskistani border".....is this guy a born loser or what....

    July 22, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. benvictor

    As a Hillary Democrat, I support John McCain and the republican ticket. While seems unlikely, I would love to see Hillary as John's VP. That being unlikely, Mitt is the man.

    July 22, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. No Bam Bam

    Obama/Madonna 08

    Let the rock show continue.

    July 22, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Noah

    Not gonna happen. Hilary lost get over it you delusional, pathetic PUMA Puke!

    July 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. Tony


    Come November you will be a two-time loser! Deal with it!

    July 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. Abby

    Vig, in case you didn’t notice, Powell all but endorsed obama in his last interview. keep on dreaming though.

    July 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. VP

    Right, because Obama has never lied or flip-flopped on an issue. You Obama supporters need to stop portraying your candidate as pefect, when he is in fact far from. Say what you will about McCain, but Obama isn't much different. He's not the saintly figure you see him as being.

    As to the VP choice, I think McCain should choose a woman. My preference is with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, but we'll see.

    July 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. McFlop

    Keating 5....

    Do the research people!!

    July 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. BJGT

    Maybe it will distract from his latest gaffe – "the Iraq/Pakistan border"

    July 22, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. No McBUSH

    And the VP winner is:

    Miss Czechoslovakia !!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on down! You have more brains the McFlooozy!

    July 22, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. Tommie

    Yawn. McCain is clearly trying to deflect attention away from Obama's overseas trip-the move is purely political. My advise to McBush: be careful what u ask for, u might regret it later.

    Don't pressure Obama into going overseas and when the trip doesn't go the way you planned it-you want to moan and groan about unfair coverage. Life it is not fair, Mr. McSame.

    July 22, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    What happen to the gas tax holiday?

    July 22, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. CH

    McCain is the most predictable politician in the spotlight today. Everything he does at this juncture is boring and scripted. Obama looks like a natural born commander in chief at this point.

    July 22, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. norb

    Lieberman or Charles Keating?

    July 22, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. no no no!

    lets hope he picks someone who actually knows there is no Pakistan Iraq boarder.
    let hope he has the common sense not to pick on of the Lobbyist who works for him.
    lets hope he picks someone who can counter his countless gaffes.
    lets hope he picks someone who is OK with losing

    July 22, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. America

    America cares!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  25. Ian

    Doesn't sound like anyone in his campaign knows what's going on.

    July 22, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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