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. Scott, Charlotte

    He's going to go with Count Chocula.

    July 21, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  2. K in Oregon

    During Obama's trip, McSame has slung mud and insults at Barak. He like the kid that waits of his turn and makes everyone angry.

    McSame is saying Obama alone is the cause for the high oil prices.

    Well the math is not on his side. The US Fed debt has almost doubled in the years Bush has been president. The dollar has tanked due to horrific fiscal policies. McSame was part of the majority during the very ugly part of this fiscal disaster.

    McSame has flip flopped so much and now he can only be a mean old guy that can't answer tough question.

    If McSame announces a VP choice this week, it will show how much this man has sunk.

    McSame wants to be a war president, yet America is tired of the constant war and all the corruption.

    Obama will win!!!

    July 21, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Obamamania!

    I heard he was going to tap Jeb Bush for VP. And maybe Laura for Sec State. And Bushes dog for NSA.

    July 21, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. austin

    Its obvious that McSame campaign is out of ideas and must wait to copy what the Obama campaign is doing.

    July 21, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. KenM

    Oh, the BHO lemmings are out.

    July 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Michael Ray Thompson

    I'm shocked to hear that CNN is even covering the posibility of a McCain VP pick. Your coverage is so biased toward Obama, it is unreal!

    July 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  7. nik

    “Because someone is an idiot, so we have to explain it as a tactic.”

    The McCain campaign needs to put this on bumper stickers I think.

    July 21, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  8. JPM

    Its called a BLUFF.

    July 21, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. Robert- Cary NC

    Who cares!!!

    July 21, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. White-Marsh


    Not sure if the VP talks are campaign "head fakes" for temporarily getting news coverage off Obama or a sincere indicator that McSame will announce his VP this week. Either way 'Team McSame' accomplishes the equivalent of a NFL interception just as 'Team Obama' was on track for another phenomenal scoring drive.

    If McSame do announce the VP this week, he may bump Obama's overseas love fest. Keeping in mind that it was McSame's suggestion in the first place that Obama take the trip. But if McSame makes that choice early, he leaves Obama open to a series of "unchecked media scoring drives" including the Democratic rally in seventy-thousand seat Bronco stadium. An early VP pick by McSame also steals his opportunity to wait and see Obama's VP choice, so McSame can counter-trump Obama's VP.

    Oh, the campaign chess match is brutal.

    July 21, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  11. Patriot4Paul

    Paul-Hagel '08: the only winning Republican ticket.

    McCain's options for VP are very limited...
    1. Dick Cheney
    2. Fred Thompson
    3. Rudy Giuliani
    4. Joe Lieberman
    5. Condoleeza Rice
    6. Charlie Crist
    7. miscellaneous neocon Sith lord

    It does not matter! McCain will never be president.

    July 21, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Sick of Bush republicans

    McCain/Romney-exactly what you need for the summer, a pair of flip flops......

    July 21, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. Paul

    This is not news.

    July 21, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  14. McEmpty

    I thought that McCain would counterpoint Obama's trip with some concrete talks about issues...

    All that I can see is show-off: McCain complains about NYT (where, again, he just wanted to attack, but never gave any hint of substance) and now he is reacting to Obama's trip with this VP pseudo-announcement...

    What a fake!

    I've just made my mind.

    July 21, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. Xavier

    McCain is like that annoying kid at school that keeps yelling at the teacher, "look at me, look at me! Please look at me!" Not very presidential.

    July 21, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. Tim

    Would it not be funny if Barack was winning early in the race, then out of no where big mac won the election

    July 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Powell will announce he is for Obama.
    I do not think Powell will be fooled again
    by the Republicans.
    Capt. Smash,
    I hope you are right. Just think how much the
    Democrats can make of him. Jobs going to
    Obama is going to win no matter what McSame does.

    July 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Michael

    Well I hope for his sake it's someone who knows that Czechoslovakia no longer exists, that it is impossible for Obama to visit Ira

    July 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |


    July 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. Mauri

    In my opinion, there are enough lies and flip-flopping by both candidates to go around. As for failed policy, well that can't be judged because Obama has not made nor had any. This is what is so troubling about his candidacy. It seems like pure lunacy to subject Senator Obama to the pressures and responsibilities as President of the United States. So I think we'd be doing him a huge favor by saving him from himself. As for Senator McCain announcing his vice presidential running mate, I for one would welcome it as a merciful delivery. When the news pundits and anchors get on one subject, they beat it to death ad nauseam. That's where we are right now with Obama's trip to Europe. Time to change the subject.

    July 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. Puffin

    McCain needs help for sure. Quickly. Anyone will do.

    July 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  22. Geri

    The Obama supporters calling the kettle black. Get rid of your nastiness and stop being so negative. I'm a democrat but I am really tired of Obama and his supporters.

    July 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. Michael

    Well I hope for his sake it's someone who knows that Czechoslovakia no longer exists, that it is impossible for Obama to visit Iraq along the Afghanistan border (yeah look that one up :)), and that Iran is highly unlikely to support Al-Qaeda.

    July 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  24. Hussien

    The pick will be Mitt. A proven business man with executive experience. This is something BHO is missing. The LMSM will only give it a little attention while they continue to follow Barack's every move.

    July 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. ADAM


    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
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