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. Bill

    To bring a little youth and excitement into McCain's campaign, perhaps he should consider Methuselah. McCain could use some fresh ideas.

    July 21, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. TEXAN

    Jealous...Jealous..Jealous ! GOP is so jealous of Obama. Go ahead McCain name your VP. We all want to know. But...that will still not take the attention away from Obama.

    July 21, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Who cares...

    July 21, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA








    July 21, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Let's move on

    Yawn! This is all he has.

    July 21, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. LA

    Great! I hope this is true.

    July 21, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Stacy

    Desperate for TV time I see! Well, go ahead and make the annoucement, already.

    July 21, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Republican who hates OBAMA

    Just the important people care

    July 21, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. eric, minnesota

    McCain is doing everything he can to try and get some attention, so sad. Also, about the NYT rejecting McCain's op ed. I'm glad they did. If people would actually take the time to read it, they would see that all it does is criticize Obama. The NYT actually asked Sen. McCain to write the op ed, so they obviously wanted to put it in their paper. The problem is that his op ed doesnt even articulate any of his opinions. All it says is he was for the surge, then its just a ten paragraph bashing of Obama's plans. The reason THEY ASKED HIM TO WRITE IT was they thought their readers would want to read about John McCain's policies on Iraq and Afg. The piece fails to do that. So, people should be upset with McCain for not even writing about his own positions, since that was supposed to be the whole point of his op ed. It is true that Obama did crticize McCain and Bush in his op ed, but that was only a few lines in the whole piece, the rest of the op ed, talked about Obama's views and policies on Iraq and Afg. The NYT never said McCain couldnt criticize Obama in his op ed, they just didnt want that to be all he did. Like I said THEY ASKED HIM TO WRITE THE OP ED, so they obviously wanted to print it, they just didnt think his piece said anything about his positions. Which it didnt!

    July 21, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Ray from CA

    I want him to chose his VP, this week it will give Obama time to think and another advtange.

    July 21, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. texas DEM


    mccain/who really cares?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. Black Republican - New York, New York

    As a Black Republican, I don't like this if this report is true. Why should McCain appear to be picking his VP based on who Obama picks as his own VP? This is now about personalities for McCain? Whatever happened to substance?

    If McCain plays the personality game he is going to lose. Obama has a larger draw than he does so he has to counter with substance. not charisma. Two left or two right wings cannot make a bird fly. There has to be balance so people can see a stark difference; not sameness.

    July 21, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. jay

    Please. Not impressed.

    July 21, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I personally feel sorry for the poor guy who is selected for McCain's V.P. McCain is dummer than dirt and republicans should be looking for another presidential nominee.

    July 21, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Refuse War - We can Do Better

    I'm also an ex-Republican, now voting for Obama. The Republican party has a bigger problem than trying to find a star candidate/team to run up against Obama, especially after 8 years of Bush. McCain is representing the Republicans as the party of Hate, Fear, a government for the rich, and, of course, War.

    The people want something different. The country cannot survive on these types of policies. Indeed, this was the motivation for the American Revolution. If this is truly all the Republicans can offer, it has already become irrelevant to our country.

    July 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Noans, South Pasadena

    Ditto, "Republican who loves Obama.' it's probably another fat cat who thinks Americans losing their homes; can't afford gas, food; their medications; or great health insurance that McSame enjoys, thanks to us, the tax payers, are just whiners. McSame needs to retire and spend more time at one of his 8 homes!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. spudmctater

    It will be Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.

    July 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Debby, NJ

    There is no one that can help you McShame

    July 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. Rickymo

    Is this suppose to be a suprise? It will be Romney.....what an even more boring ticket and just like Dole/Kemp.

    July 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. Andre' of Maryland

    Just trying to get a headline......everyone already knows that Romney is the pick. You will still come in second McSame!!!!

    July 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. Justin, Ohio

    You may not care, but I do care. Instead of blindly voting for someone for change because of change. But it's alright, lets just forget about the past. As the old saying goes "History repeats itself because nobody listens." If you're ready to announce a VP, then go for it McCain 🙂 Not everyone is shallow minded as the liberals.

    July 21, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. DC


    July 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  23. Jerry

    Come on!!!! He needs coverage this week they will float anything to get the media to pay attention.His message is being shredded by the hour as the Iraqui's flex there muscles to decide their own fate. I bet he won't announce until after the Olympics and Obama makes his announcement.

    July 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  24. Non-Conformist

    Who cares??????? ......... Boring ... not gonna get no media attention .. FAILED

    July 21, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. pat C.

    i second that ....WHO CARES!!!!

    July 21, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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