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. Deborah

    He seems willing to try any stategy short of making persuasive presentations of his ideas. If conservatives and republicans aren't ashamed by now of the intellectual midgets they keep trying to pararde to the White-house...well I guess they don't know any better.

    July 21, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. Ryan Sullivan

    McCain is trying so desperately to change the news cycle. Obama is overseas and looking very presidential. McCain will continue to play defense until November, when he gets absolutely walloped in the general election.

    July 21, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. E

    It's about time!!!!!!!!!!

    McCain/Crist 08

    July 21, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. ali

    i hope its romney ,so the obama haters,will stop with the cult following smears.

    July 21, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. Chut Pata

    Vig: "Go with Colin Powell and McCain's poll numbers will sky rocket, Obama's will fade and Hillary Clinton will be placed in nomination."

    Republican party used Colin Powell like a toilet paper and disposed him like one, when they made him a liar in front of the whole world. If he has any self-respect, he will never say yes to the VP ticket. If he has none left, and accept the ticket, who would respect a man who does not respect himself?

    July 21, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. Slash

    I really hope McCain picks Jindal. Really, I do. If he picks the guy who's nutty enough to believe in demonic possessions, this election will go from one-sided to blowout.

    July 21, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  7. Donna

    McCain could make the announcement in the nude and no one would care....his news cycle will last all of 5 mins...he will probably wait to hear who Obama selects so he can "counter" with another "better" choice...must be a comfort for the Republican VP potentials to know that he doesn't have enough confidence in them to make a selection based on whats best for his campaign instead of worrying abt what Obama is going to do......

    July 21, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  8. Carol, Lansing MI

    What's the McCain, whining because you're no longer the media favorite you were the last time you ran for President?

    Leaking out phony reports of a VP pick in a vain attempt to graph a minute of media attention?

    Stop your whining, its just a mental moment you're having. Or in your words, "psychological".

    July 21, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. Patty

    This is so patheric that it makes me feel bad for Senator Mc Cain.

    July 21, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. ali

    vig-powell would never serve under a republican administration again ,after he was thrown under the bus by bush and made to look like a fool.powell has shown more interest in obama's campaign than mccains.

    July 21, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. Jen, Philadelphia

    That's what I like about Obama supporters. When you have nothing constructive to say, let's call John McCain names and make fun of his age. Let's have a real debate about what the issues are and what your candidate's positions are that make him so perfect. Just try to remember what his positions are these days, they have been changing lately.

    July 21, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. Donna from Colorado Springs

    McCain is clearly trying to move attention away from Obama. With all of the problems he and the Bush regime are dealing with in Iraq, and everything pointing up the stupidity of McSames and Bushs idiology, of course they would do or say anything to re-direct the countrys attention from Obama to them. Frankly, considering how dumb and out of touch they really are and how they look,I'm sure they wish they could find a huge deep hole to crawl into. Bush ignors questions he doesn't want to hear or answer, and McCain says stupid things like blaming Obama for the high gas prices. Someone needs to muzzle them. They are truly pathetic.

    July 21, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Kyko

    Mr. McCain,

    Here is what an ancient pearl of wisdom just for you:

    The hen of a poor man does not lay eggs;
    Even if she lays eggs,
    She never hatches;
    And if she hatches,
    She never rears the chicks;
    And when she rears,
    The hawk takes the chicks.

    Stop daydreaming; your star faded long ago.

    July 21, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. Steven

    McCain's rejected New York Times op-ed pieceNext Article in Politics.

    I Don't Blame The NY Times For Rejecting This.
    Was This Written By A 5th Grader? Very Weak and Not Very Presidential.
    McCain or Someone In His Staff, Need To Take A 101 College Writing Course.

    July 21, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. William Y

    Let me get this right. McCain has no better plan than to announce a VP in order to still Obama's thunder???? Pitiful. Just plain pitiful.

    July 21, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  16. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    I don't know if he should pick Jindal. (Pssst. He might be Hindu.)


    July 21, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  17. bern

    Misdirection. The McSame camp is just trying, feebly, to get some air time. They tried running a stupid commercial blaming Obama for the gas prices but got zero traction. Now they figure if they talk about McDumb picking his VP they will get some coverage. I suspect that approach will come off about like the commercial.

    July 21, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Obama to the rescue 08/12

    What a bunch of jealous in desperation low lifes /he has absolutely nothing going for him he is a pickled pickle so all he has left is to lie,brag about something he never done ,flip flop, sing BombBomb Iran and grin , tell what he thinks is a funny joke but instead insulting then laugh most likely take a nap,return to Arizona and Bar-be -que or have ANOTHER TOWN HALL. and talk about his failed policy .
    Obama 08/12 McShame is toast no matter who he chooses.

    July 21, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. Desdemondo

    Chosing a VP is an exercise in futility. The writing is on the wall. Obama sets the agenda and Mc. Same-Bush responds with lies and more lies – talk about a flip-flopper.

    Maybe he should chose another old prune like himself: the old Democrat/Independent turncoat, Liebermann.

    July 21, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. Erick,ALabama

    Go Obama!!!! Mccain = the same
    Why do you want that?
    Obama/Better than Bush 08'
    Anybody is better than this administration.

    July 21, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  21. Juan Carlos(Vegas)

    McCain And Colin Powell, and let the race begins

    July 21, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    He has to do something to capture some attention. Whether it's real or not, they're getting just want they wanted.

    July 21, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  23. PUMA Hillary supporter

    i hope McCain picks the female Governor from Alaska... and if he does, that will bring more of Hillarys women over to camp McCain... yes we clinton supporters can hand the election over to mccain... obama is a dlip flopper.

    July 21, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. Fed up with the lies

    As long as it isn't the hair do. Romney will do anything to get an office in the White House...including sucking up to a man he disparaged repeatedly during the primary.

    July 21, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    This is the way McCain hopes to get attention. Sounds like a very confused, desparate campaign to me. Very sad actually.

    July 21, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
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