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. Chuck, Livermore

    Who can he possibly pick that can help him? He is supposedly a 'foreign policy guru' who actually has never been up to snuff on foreign affairs issues ... he has offered no leadership there in the Senate ... and appears to be somewhat 'geographically challenged' ... boy was I surprised to hear that Iraq and Pakistan share a border ... I mean... I'm all for getting rid of Iran and Afghanistan as troubled spots, but I didn't know McCain had the ability to just move them ... to say ... Antartica ...

    Every opponent he faced in the primaries has no foreign policy experience ... which might be important if something happened to McCain ... they do have some experience on the economy ... but Romney's nomination stirs up evangelicals, Huckabee's turns of independents, and Giuliani ... he is just annoying and with even more problematic ethics related to former spouses than even McCain! They could probably be compared as to how lousy they were as husbands to their earlier wives and how terribly they cheated on them. Real banner choices for those on the religious right.

    Good luck Senator McCain ... anybody who isn't controversial isn't well veted ... and those who are, most won't want. Fortunately you have a Senate seat to go back to!

    July 21, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. EA

    Campbell Brown, no bias no bull my you know what. Everytime you open your mouth it's obvious you have a love affair for McLame

    July 21, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. Tejano

    McCain should stop praising Obama and start hammering at his lack of experience and loyalty to the United States. Where is Karl Rove when you need him?

    July 21, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. TheTruthHurts

    This is more a comment on McCain's problems with conservatives than anything. For the general, he should wait as long as possible. But, if he needs to energize his base to get the troops working for him, this might be a good move.

    July 21, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. Jeremy

    The announcement is certainly a clever idea by the McCain Campaign to try get some media attention from Obama's Overseas trip. Unless the announcement is about someone who the media have not been speculating about already, i do not see how it will make big news!!

    July 21, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. Kevin from Texas

    Wow, we might actually get to have the first bona fide Exorcist as a VP – Gov. Bobby Jindal. That ought to get his base going.

    July 21, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Lee from FL

    there will be NO pick this week.
    the man is looking for free media attention

    July 21, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. captain

    It'll be Romney.

    July 21, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    Oh just get on with it and name Dick Cheney as your VP. Four more years.

    July 21, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. fred

    I am leaning libertarian this time. I am not happy with McCain's record on Iraq, his free trade policy as opposed to fair trade policy, his lack of opposition to entitlements which would also likely alleviate the immigration problem in this country, and for all his talk about killing "earmarks" he would likely continue to put this country into greater debt. Obama is talking and pandering but he hasn't actually done anything significant in government which is scary. I'm also uncomfortable with the executive and legislative branch being democrat. Turning the U.S. into France isn't the "change" that we need.

    July 21, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. English Grad

    Do you guys read these before you post? "not undisciplined", "obama" with a lower case "o", "the 'leading' plan us still the one..."?? I appreciate prompt reporting, but maybe a casual glance over by some sort of editor before hitting the "post" button is in line. You don't see three mistakes in a New York Times post...at least, not knucklehead ones like these.

    July 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. DOH!

    Vig--DREAM ON!!!! Powell is too smart to jump on a sinking ship.

    and Clinton is riding off into the sunset about now........

    July 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. JorgeM

    He should pick Liebermann. Both warmongers. Peas in a pod.

    July 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. rayster

    You goated him into going thinking he would fall on his face and now you have to stop the water from flowing. Your VP anouncement will only get you charges of sour grapes and trying to steal thunder cuz he is doing too well on the trip.
    John stick to campaining clean and one on one and dump those who are changing you and you may have a chance to catch up

    July 21, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. Lee, Egg Harbor NJ

    I feel sorry for John McCain. He sold his soul to Bush and company as well as the fundamentalist agents of intolerence just to gain the republican nomination.

    The McCain that ran in 2000 could not vote for the sad 2008 version.

    He will likely choose Mitt Romney, an unprincipled man he detests to the core, because Romney can bring a lot of cash to the effort.

    McCain wants this so badly that he would sell his own wife out (sort of like he did with his first wife, the one that stood by him when he was in Nam and traded her in for a 24 year old with tons of inherited beer money. With that money, he launched his political career.)

    July 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. David E

    Perfect timing to distract from Obama's trip. Lord knows McCain isn't exciting enough to generate news on his own.

    July 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Hawkeye

    A much younger man I hope, but then who really cares. What a total joke the last 8 years have been. Enough is enough. Democrats by a landslide in November.

    July 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. white people for obama

    McBush wants to divert our attention to him because Obama is really well liked abroad.

    July 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. M.S. Indiana

    You better write it down McCain or you may flip flop or forget...
    News is, will any one be willing to end their career to be on a VP spot ??

    July 21, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. linda from South Dakota

    oh come on now ,, mccain,, you are just tryin to steer the focus on you instead of obama goin overseas,,, what a baby,,, first you challenge him to go, then you blame him,, nothung seems to please you,, lol,,,need some prozac???? in readin a article on mccain blaming obama for the high fuel prices,, << this is totally crazy,, again mccain is tryin to steer the focus from obama to himself,,, seems nothing will ever make him happy,, but thats ok, he cant remeber anyways,,,,lol,, go obama,,, 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  21. Perla

    Sen. McGaffe would probably feel more confident with a veep campaigning by his side, within reach of the mic.

    July 21, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. Hate to break it to you

    Don't care who that idiot chooses!

    July 21, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. Jay

    Wow!!!! Mac is not taking this Obama trip very well.
    I guess the grumpy guy needs to try to stay in the news somehow or at least try. The lousy "gas price" attack ad directed at Obama is not going to cut it.

    July 21, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  24. rich

    Who cares??? His VP pick will be of no consequence come November. It's all about McSame.

    July 21, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  25. Yellow Dog Democrat

    I think that McCain's only chance would be to nominate the only republican that seconded him in the beginning, Mit Romney. Of course, I can see a ridiculous choice like Mike Huckabee, which is actually worse than Romney.

    I'm still a Gore Supporter all the way! Hilary was my second choice, with Obama dragging third. I think we would be better off with Hilary as the front runner and Obama in the VP slot, but if he has to be the front runner, I would like to see him find someone to run with him with enough experience to cancel his inexperience. I could see him going with Ted Kennedy, but I would rather see Bill Richardson.

    July 21, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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