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. B.Hawkins

    it's obvious McCain needs to get his campaign going. He needs help because he is being overwhelmed by the Obama tide and he needs a younger man to speak for him.

    July 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. Ted:Canada

    McCain pretends that he is free to name is own VP. Give me a break!!
    The Republicans will install the same old guard.

    The Republicans and McCain are running away from the last eight years pretending it did no happen.

    Pelosi was right!!! Bush and the Republicans are a "total failure".

    If it wasn't government and they were in the pubic sector they would have all been fired!!

    1. They have failed to capture the terrorists that attacked that USA
    2. They fought the wrong enemy and are still fighting for no reason at all.
    3. They have cost the American people billions of dollars for nothing.
    4. They let their economy turn into a third world country.
    5. Most importantly young American lost their life for NOTHING!

    Sue the Republican Party for every cent they have.
    They have been TOTAL FAIURES!

    July 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. Andrew

    I am tired of Obama's lying and flip flopping on issues like the war. Now he is visiting Afghanistan? Get real he is trying to get wahatever he can by lying.

    July 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. VG

    Ha ha ha... this is call divert the good coverage Obamas is having so far...

    July 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. Chuck

    Yes McCain name your running mate, your just trying to steal the show that you insisted be played out and that is Obama taking a trip to Iraq and Afganistan. McCain got what he wanted so why is he crying so much.

    July 21, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. Peter from Victoria BC

    Hey Vig....

    I see your posts here all the time. You are one twisted person. Completely full of hate and loathing. Seeing the number of posts you submit, it seems to me that those that know you won't listen to your crap and they leave you no choice but to state your ridiculous sludge here. Unfortunately for us on CNN.Com we can't stop you from posting. You should move out of your parent's basement, get a job and get on with your life.

    July 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. Jack

    It will be Romney unless he's a complete fool. Remember, it's the economy stupid! Romney gets the economy. I am in business and whenever I hear these two clowns yap i think of how little they know what they are talking about.

    July 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  8. Brian, Pittsburgh

    A few weeks ago, I read that John McCain might announce his VP right after the Democratic Convention, in an attempt to 'steal the thunder' from the 75,000 people event. If McCain announces now out of desperation, what would he do then?

    It's more likely that the McCain campaign leaked this story to distract the media from the Obama trip. And here we are... falling for it.

    July 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. Chris from Texas

    'Listening to the crickets in the background'......McLame is desperate and who cares. He will go down in history as what this country was, while Obama will overcome and be the face of where this country is going. Progress!

    July 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Matt

    I love this Obama will announce 3 days after McCain....Guaranteed. And Will screw up his VP by doing so. It'll be Jindahl or Christ, and then the Dems will try to attack him for picking someone who's as inexperienced as Obama...except they actually have a record and stances on issues. J

    July 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  11. NotFallingInLine.org

    Hey Obama fans,

    Keep up the nonsensical fallacy that McCain is Bush. It might make you feel great to say it over and over again, but the American people are too smart to fall for it.

    Obama is fighting a political on two fronts, because many, many stalwart Democrats know that he sleazed off with a nomination that he did not earn and does not deserve.

    We’re working hard to ensure his electoral humiliation. Then we’re going to take our party back.

    Believe it.

    Knoxville NFIL

    July 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  12. Phil G.

    I think I'm goin with Obama all the way on this!! McCain has made too many foreign policy gaffes to continue calling himself an expert. We are all allowed to make mistakes and i grant him that but he cannot continue to call himself an expert and continue day in and day out to make mistakes, some which he makes on more than one occasion.And I'm sorry experience isnt the only thing that matters. The more and more I see Obama the more i feel that I'm ready to take a chance on him. After all rookies are not bad just looking in the world of sports would we really say that Lebron James was worse than Tracy McGrady or even Jason Kidd, and their pretty good players. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't most entrepreneurs kind've the same. We see how bad some of them turned out right like Bill Gates, the Google founders, Facebook Founders, Myspace founders, etc. yea they all turned out to be losers....NOT! This is not an endorsement for Sen. Obama but i think McCain should argue the facts rather than the experience. But hey as long as he doesnt take advice from Bush he just might be a hair better than him.

    July 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  13. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Good strategy. This may blunt the incredible pro-Obama news bias.

    July 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  14. Brian

    Desperate... well, goooooood that they are desperate.

    OBAMA 2008

    Maybe with Hillary/Biden/Bayh

    July 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. Steve

    McCain should put politics aside and pick the most qualified VP: Condoleeza Rice.

    By the way, I'm an undecided independent voter

    July 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  16. Boston For OBAMA

    Sorry McSame.......You can announce if it makes you feel important, but it won't take the wind out of the OBAMA sail..

    AND your op ed the NY TIMES won't publish as is needs to be corrected. Check the translation re: TROUP WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ.

    OBAMA 08

    July 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. from the desk of, DM of Texas

    Let us pray for Senator John McCain he is a good man, his memory may not be that good....

    July 21, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. Marc PDX

    Question for the Dems here: does it really speak well of Obama that almost all of his supporters here are idiots? I would think that a large base of dimwits would more or less indicate that you're the choice of...well, nitwits. But, to each his own I guess.

    July 21, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  19. Anna

    It actually makes me wonder who Obama will choose!

    ABC (Anyone But Clinton)

    I can't wait to call you my President, Mr. Obama!

    Obama 08

    July 21, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. Nelson

    This won't work, McCain is lame and he's got nothing. Pick Romney or Joe Scarborough, for all I care. It's lame.

    He's like the old man in sea, determined to gain favor.

    Obama 08

    July 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  21. Herman in LA

    Vig, get a grip Colin Powell is voting for Obama...

    July 21, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. Dennise

    Smells like he's nervous or desperate? Or maybe both! ...LOL..It doesn't matter what they do, they have no mission, they can't compete with Obama and that's the bottom line. McCain = George Bush!

    July 21, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. Teddy California

    They can only use it once to get attention. But everything Obama does will get attention because he is a history making candidate. Some experts (quite a few) are arguing that a failed Obama Presidency will bring more benefits than a successful McCain Presidency. In a lot of people's minds, Obama must win for the sake of the country no matter what.

    July 21, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Vig, Colin Powell will not even endorse McCain, what makes you
    think he will be on his ticket. McCain should retire and give the
    nomination to Romney. Obama will still win. Sorry.

    July 21, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. Linda31

    And if they don't make an announcement, they will look very pitiful.

    July 21, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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