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. Roger from CA

    If McCain feels he needs to play prematurely the single biggest card he has in his hand just to counter-program an overseas trip by Obama, then McCain must be pretty desperate, and it is a VERY bad sign for him.

    July 21, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Susan in Cincinnati

    Us PUMAs are waiting.... with rapt attention. Give us someone that we can back, and our purses will open. The money we had been saving for Hillary's run will flow like water.

    And, the votes too, of course!

    July 21, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. baracomama

    Have anyone else seen the hysterical new attack ad McCain has launched against Obama.. It is Obama fault Gas prices are so high?? ROTFLMAO This Guy needs to find a new staff, If this is how he is going to run the country, God help us all

    July 21, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. Will H.

    Diversionary politics 101.

    July 21, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Mike

    Why are there so many Kool-Aid drinking obama supporters on here?

    No one cares about obama in iraq. He made his policy decision about it 4 years ago. It doesn't matter what happens over there, he will still say we should retreat in "16 months". Ridiculous.

    July 21, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Jeff B.

    The suspense is KILLING ME!

    July 21, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |


    Is it November yet?

    July 21, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  8. Greg, NY

    "...some within the campaign are arguing to hold off until Obama has been his decision..."

    Unfortunately for CNN, Obama will never be McCain's decision.

    July 21, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. Lydia

    The longer the campaign, the more irrelevant McCain becomes.

    July 21, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. dennis from chicago

    mc cain should announce sooner than later.....this shows another type of leadership.... it will invigorate his presidential run and spread his word of change and moderation........good work JOHN.....NOMINATE a vice president to show your full affect

    July 21, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  11. Doc Holiday

    McNuts should pick Ronald McDonald and they can both run under the mad cow ticket.

    July 21, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  12. jim holmes

    How could anyone support either of these candidates? Neither of them have any leadership ability to speak of, not to mention, they've been avoiding questions left and right. Neither one of them know how to correct the problem with the economy...probably because their funding speaks for them both. That's why they both avoid the question about NAFTA, yes the acronym that was going to change everything for the country. All it did was make it easier for US corporation to go somewhere else and evade EPA laws and get cheap labor, not to mention pay know taxes on the product anymore, and still sell to Americans an pawn it off as made in America. Come on America, you really can't be that stupid to see who these guys really represent. Politicians don't speak for America anymore...they speak for their pockets and big BUSINESS!

    Call me stupid if you wish, but just take a good look around and see what's going on...and maybe then you'll understand what I'm talking about. Some, it takes a little longer than others.

    July 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  13. KO

    It doesn't sound like it's a definite yetm so I would be a little skeptical of this report. If the campaign released an official statement to the public, or some kind of hint that they would announce the running mate, I would feel better. However, this does sound like something a typical politician would to do to change the newscycle in their favor.

    July 21, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. David

    That's amusing...look at me...look at me...look at me!

    July 21, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. JohnLee

    Hope McBush doesn't take this long to make a decision about a terrorist strike that they keep claiming is going to happen! Of course if you catch McBush on the weekend, I doubt any response to a terrorist attack would happen until the following business day!

    July 21, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. Xango

    He will not remember next week who he named this week.........

    this is not country for old man......mcbush

    July 21, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  17. Jack from California

    John – take a good Christian so the good reverend dobson will support you! – WHAT A SELLOUT!

    McCain is all about power to the RICH! and NO INTEGRITY!

    July 21, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    Obama and McCain are both bad choices for our country! It does indeed look like McCain is trying to steal Obama's thunder. Obama is the first African-American with a shot at the presidency, and he's talking about change (c). The media loves that, and has been giving him a lot of attention. McCain just wants attention, especially since many conservatives aren't too fond of him either.

    July 21, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Nate

    I hope it's Giulianni.

    July 21, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. Attention Please, really, please. By McCain

    THIS JUST IN!!! McCain just announced that he can juggle flaming batons while blind-folded and riding a unicycle with one hand tied behind his back! Let's see Obama beat that!

    July 21, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  21. Bernard

    Well..McCain is speaking in Louisiana this week...the only non-swing state he will hit while Obama is on his world tour....and McCain has a speaking event scheduled in Louisiana "but he won't release details about it." It's supposed to steal Obama's thunder...
    Seems like an announcement of Jindal as VP candidate makes sense...

    July 21, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. shelley

    The presidential race has become ridiculous... why are these guys traveling outside our own country, anyway? when everyone in the US is broke, the $$ spent on these campaigns looks BAD BAD BAD! Let's have some TRUTH IN ADVERTISING in these campaigns...

    July 21, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  23. JERRY


    July 21, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  24. orville

    Just more desperate antics from McSame!

    July 21, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Vig, Powell wouldn't run on McCain's ticket. (lol)

    July 21, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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