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

    Pick Leiberman.... then he and McCain can star in the movie sequel, "The Bucket List" !!!

    July 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Jean

    Dear Campbell,

    I am a 61-year old African-American woman who is an avid viewer of CNN so I miss very little that you all report.

    I would just like to know how John McCain's and Joe Lieberman's visit to the Middle East differs from Senator Barack Obama's and the other members that are accompanying him. Do you know if both trips were paid by the taxpayers. What should it matter. Isn't the entire Iraq War being paid by the American taxpayers? I am employed, so I am a taxpayer. Since so much emphasis is being put on Senator Obama's lack of military experience, can you please provide me with the military experience of George Bush or Former President Clinton, for that matter. I have always believed CNN to be unbiased in its reporting, but this presidential election is certainly showing another side. I truly hope it is just what you have to report and not your personal feelings being injected. I hope you do read this.

    July 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. Dan, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Dan Quayle (potato? potatoe?)

    July 21, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  4. Phil, FL

    ........in McCain’s mind to the point where he could, if he were so inclined, spring a decision this week.

    There's the problem. He doesn't know where his mind is – it's here, it's there, it's everywhere - oops – it's gone.

    Nice try BUSH III, you "ain't gonna win".

    Obama '08

    July 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. John Air Force Vet

    But Vig- Colin Powell won't want to be McSames VP- The Repulicans lied to him! That's why he retired.

    July 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. faithsem

    My guess is his VP will be Mitt...it's his ONLY chance he's got to even make a showing come November......right now McSame is trying to steal some thunder from Obama...


    July 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  7. Desert Shield vets

    so experience , no confindence. he should have had his Vp on board. that shows a man with no direction.


    July 21, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. NG in DC

    McCain – Powell

    Obama – Clinton

    the plot thickens.

    July 21, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Tasha from Houston, TX

    Please go ahead and let us know, if he tells the American people, this will give the media an opportunity to cover the McCain campaign and hopefully build some excitement within the Republican party.

    July 21, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. dems be dopes

    And Obama's policy is?

    Whoops, there are none, just a junior boot senator with 145 days on the job.

    July 21, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  11. Heath, Bronx, NY

    Non event!

    July 21, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. Cynthia

    Trying to steal the spotlight from Senator Obama. This won't even work, but will be interesting to see who he picks. Can you say Mitt?

    July 21, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. Another old white woman for Obama

    Colin Powell would never agree to be VP. He is too smart.
    He has seen the corruption up close and personal. If it's Lieberman forget learning Spanish and study Hebrew.
    If McCain is elected (G-D forbid) we will have to learn Chinese. We owe them so much money already that it will take generations to repay. Trillions.
    For what? Osama Bin Laden is laughing his butt off in some cave.
    Your tax dollars at work. We will no longer own our country.
    You gave it away when you voted for George. Twice. Proud?
    You should be begging forgiveness from the people you threw under the bus with your votes. That is most of us. We are drowning in debt, and blood.

    July 21, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  14. Rachael, NY

    I was wondering how the Clintons were getting along with Bill Richardson now that they're in the same camp.

    Can we expect them to travel together on the campaign trail? Would love to watch the body language.

    July 21, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. Christie of PhIlly

    Go back to sleep "Gramps!" No one cares who you name; it will either be Jindal, or Romney. Someone from McCain's camp will need to wake him up from his "senior nap" right before his VP announcement is made. Then, he and his camp can go back to sleep! Or not......Because just maybe someone in McCain's camp can tell him where the Iraq/Pakistan border is, so he can head for it and get out of our lives!!! Good luck with that "pops", since there is no Iraq/Pakistan border.

    Right now, our focus is on our next President of the United States of America, Barak Obama while he is in the middle east and Europe!

    July 21, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    Mcsame the poor little whiney baby not getting any attention so now hes gonna announce his vp well you no what mcbush NO one cares everyone is focused on obamas trip that you pressed him to do mccain they say watch what you wish for haha another backfire in your face mcain when are you gonna learn the more you bash obama the more it backfires oh yes i love it!!!

    July 21, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. Outersider

    Our country needs new blood, new direction. McCain won't be anything close to that need.

    July 21, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. ex republican

    "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. "

    why would McCane advisors want to take attention away from Obama's trip? THEY suggested he take it!!! lol lol lol

    July 21, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. Bradley In Colorado

    Even if McCain DOES pick a VP this week, not only will he still be eons behind Obama's progress (since clinching the nomination), but it won't make the slightest impact on the cold, hard truth: that Obama will WIN by a landslide come November.

    Bradley S.

    July 21, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. Joe the Troll

    Colin Powell is too smart to be McCain's VP.

    July 21, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. Adam Snitzer

    What about Condi Rice?

    July 21, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. Chris

    McCain/Lieberman? Please? (i.e. perfect way for McCain to lose :P).

    Whatever, he's going to pick Romney and lose anyways.

    July 21, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. Mike Hunt

    What is this "counter-programing" nonsense. This isn't a game.

    If John McCain has made his selection, he should be a man and name the person. These types of political games are what we want to change.

    Besides, from all the gaffes and the way that the Obama campaign is out manuevering him this week, he could use all the help he could get as quickly as possible.

    July 21, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. Jim

    I support McCain, but all I know he better not pick Bobby Jindal. That guy is a certified looney. Plus, McCain will lose many of the white Southerners vote, because he's picking a minority as a VP. Furthermore, Bobby Jindal is even less experienced than Obama. McCain better pick either Lieberman or Romney. I prefer Romney, because he knows how economics and business. I don't care if he's a Mormon.

    July 21, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. Brian, Pittsburgh

    McCain / Bush 08? Or is that too redundant?

    July 21, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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