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. Obama's M0M

    My son's a mess.

    July 21, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. Denise in OKC

    Nobody cares....your going down in NOV.

    July 21, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. Neal

    Pure politics.
    Sucking air out of Obama's control of the current new cycle.
    The Republicans have to cheat to win.

    July 21, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. Drew from Green Bay, WI

    You think it's news that McCain shoots himself in the foot? That's not news! I guess I still love to hear about it. I don't think Obama's trip is big enough to announce a VP candidate in response. They should save the card for a more important time.

    Obama/Hagel '08!

    July 21, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. Roberto

    I'm betting it will be Romney. That will alledgely give McCain some economic street cred.

    Then we can attack McCain-Romney for their campaign BS towards Detroit. "We can get all those automotive jobs back by getting rid of all those regulations". Yea, bring back exploding Pintos and lets get rid of seat belts and have every vehicle from Detroit get 9 mpg. That's the way to move the country forward.

    July 21, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. loyd

    I dont see how this helps Mcain. Stealing the press from Obama at home wont change anything-remember all the respected news anchors of the world are focused on Obama trip, and I dont see them that much interested in who is Mc VP unless he pics a woman, a black or a democrat. As long as it remains a white male, its no news

    July 21, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. Wild Guess

    It should be Ron Paul. He has the mos supporters. He also has a honest reputation.

    July 21, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. seth

    So "sources confirm that there have been discussions about the possibility of naming a running mate this week."

    So someone says that someone's been talking about maybe naming the vp candidate?

    That's not too solid there CNN. It's a half-hearted effort to get people talking about McCain again instead of Obama, but it's gonna be a tough sell. After all, the news anchors are all overseas.

    "This is Brian Williams, reporting from Baghdad, outside a key meeting between presidential hopeful Barack Obama and Iraqi prime minister Al-Maliki, and umm, well, huh, I guess someone in the McCain camp said that maybe they were talking about perhaps saying that they got their vice president candidate figured out or something. . . yeah, umm, so back to the real news."

    July 21, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Yes mr president Mccain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. Tom

    It will be Romney and it will not matter.

    This is Obama's year and rightfully so. He's a great candidate and will be a much needed contrast to the "cowboy diplomacy" of the Bush years. Maybe this country will actually regain its standing in the world and get something done domestically instead of just lining the pockets of the oil industry.

    Bush has been a pathetic disgrace. Time for a change America.

    July 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. John in WV

    Sen. McCain......You may as well give it up.

    July 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. It's a done deal

    Wow, I guess I will have to watch CNN all week to find out. A real nail-bitter.

    July 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. juliiano

    1- DON KING

    July 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. EA

    Big deal!! I guess he feels he needs to get SOME spotlight right now.

    July 21, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Crush Rush

    Is it Gomer Pyle?Im just dying to know.

    July 21, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. judy, Wisconsin

    Whoever it is–won't help him! I think he'd be better off studying a little geography this week after the gaff this morning, considering he's so "experienced".

    July 21, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Eric

    It's Mitt Romney.

    This isn't news...

    July 21, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Kumar

    So if Obama is not a good leader, then why would McCain want to follow his lead in VP picks at this point.

    He missed his chance to steal some thunder during the Obama-Clinton drudge match by picking a veep then.

    Come on man, pick already and stop making excuses (that goes to both candidates by the way 😉

    July 21, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Northern Soul

    Since McCain's campaign is sinking he'll need some kind of announcement to keep him relevent in the campaign. Let's hope for his sake, his VP has a working knowledge of geography.

    July 21, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. ak

    lol trying to get the action off of what is McCain definition of Victory, and if the surge has succeeded why can't we leave

    July 21, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. Mike

    I care. News is news. Like the news that you love obama, making you an idiot. Report on that.

    July 21, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. EA

    Campbell Brown sucks. What a brutal journalist. Can you be more one sided? Go get more botox and leave your biased opinions at home.

    July 21, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  23. drs

    desperation act for a campaign too old, too feeble, and with moribund ideas.

    July 21, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. s.positive

    grabbing on straws, the game is already over, you'll remain on catch up mode because you refuse to feel the pulse of AMERICA.

    July 21, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  25. Crush Rush

    Who ever it is probably has a Visa to work here.

    July 21, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
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