August 24th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN forces Obama to release VP pick early


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="CNN’s reporting forced the Obama campaign to scrap its original plan."]DENVER (CNN) – Barack Obama planned to name Joe Biden as his running mate by text message at 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning, but was forced to move up the announcement when CNN broke the story after midnight, a senior Obama official said.

At 12:42 a.m. ET, CNN reported that Obama had picked Biden to join him on the ticket. Several other news organizations confirmed the CNN report shortly afterwards.

“Had a certain network not blown our cover at a certain time the text message would have gone out in the morning, 8 a.m. Eastern,” Robert Gibbs, a senior advisor, said with a grin on Sunday. “We told people they would find out from us. When we decided it was going to get out we decided to send the text out.”

Gibbs said he believes despite the fact that the rollout plan had to be altered, a “vast majority of the people” still learned by text message when they woke up in the morning.

Some Republicans and others suggested that Obama’s 3 a.m. ET email had been intended as a deliberate swipe at Hillary Clinton, who ran a primary season ad that referenced that hour of the morning to make the case she was more qualified to handle a breaking crisis.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. McCain's Military Records Haven't Been Thoroughly Vetted

    It is shockinmg that in a democracy the media is playing such a manipulative role in this election. The CNN push on the socalled controversy in the Democratic ranks is unbelievable!! Why have Carvelle on for example as a commentator when it is obvious he is a disgruntled political hack who loses his voice once Obama has the nomination.

    August 24, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Will

    Wow. Good for you, CNN.

    Give yourself a pat on the back.

    August 24, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. jd

    CNN's in the business of MAKING news, usually mountains out of molehills. Therefore, the intense negative scrutiny of Obama. It makes news. But CNN ranks pretty low in the business of reporting news after organizations like the BBC.
    Guess this won't make it to the Ticker comments, huh?

    August 24, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Joe

    The whole problem that I see here is why cable news (not just CNN, but others also) seem so driven to be the ones "making" news as opposed to those who "report" the news. Doesn't that weaken the process?

    August 24, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Brian

    I don't understand how someone at CNN couldn't have just signed up to get the text message and then report it immediately after. Anyone who has access to the Internet could have had this story up in a matter of seconds–so what's the big deal if CNN "broke" the story first?

    August 24, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Theresa

    3 am was his plan all along...Grow up Obama, kindergarten tactics has no place in politics.

    With Michigan and Florida reinstated...I would LOVE to see Hillary take the Nomination in Denver...Mr Obama would have egg on his face for being so cocky.

    Before someone accuses me of being a whiney Clinton supporter....I support no one...I am following this story from another country, for which I am glad. I would be very nervous if I were American. Not sure who will make the best leader Mcain or Obama...I pick neither.

    If Ms. Clinton doesn't get the monination then maybe it's not too late for Lou Dobbs to throw his hat in the ring.

    August 24, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Robin

    Well, I live in the northeast and on the 11 pm local news, channel 6 ABC was LIVE at Joe Biden's house and boke the news that the police department near Biden's home in Delaware were called by the secret service asking where Biden's house was located. That pretty much answered the question on who Obama's VP pick was and that was around 11:15 pm here in NJ.

    August 24, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Janet

    Oh, b.s. They planned to send the message at 3 a.m. as a jab to Hillary. As with most arrogant people, Obama thinks the rest of us are too stupid to figure it out. Let's quit the cutesy high school stuff and get down to the serious business of these campaigns and the upcoming election.

    August 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Deb

    In the end, does any of this matter? It really was a silly waste of time.

    August 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. hunglowman

    its a shame that the 24 hour news cycle creates this idiotic frenzy to get a 'scoop' thats only a scoop for a few hours.

    this is not a badge of honor cnn. guess I'll stick to msnbc until they resort to the same pettyness.

    do you also yell 'Happy New Year' at 9pm?

    August 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Voice of reason

    Barack Obambi has taken every opportunity to take a swipe at Clinton. That ticket would have been a slam dunk. His judgment has been poor on every issue that has come up in the last couple of weeks (ie: Russian invasion of Georgia, the moment of conception above his pay grade, and his running mate). He and the dems have blown this race!!!

    August 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. lescroc

    Jeanette from Charoltte! Just a question what does this have to do with the price of tea in CHINA! I think it was about CNN blowing Obama text alert!. I dont see where you can come up with the Rebublicans picking on Hilary! You way off base on this one. By the way Im with you I would rather see Hillary over Obama any day. I hope she upsets him in the mile high city...Jeanette you have a great Hillary day.

    August 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. obama and biden are my men

    cnn just wants to be first on everything which is fine but they sure do show favor mccain why,because cnn workers are not financially struggling like the rest of us are and mccain is for the wealthy only.america wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!but the more mccain attacks the more i dislike him because he is not a transparent person like obama and biden. i know these two guys will make america go forward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 24, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. laurie

    msnbc and fox are lookin better by the minute.....

    August 24, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    That's exactly what I was thinking. They told us on Friday they would announce via a text message "a few hours" before the 3 p.m. ET rally.

    August 24, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Troy

    Wow, way to toot your own horn! Big deal.

    August 24, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Ron Cable

    Would CNN report a secret military mission if it found out ahead of time that would jeopardise our troops safety?

    August 24, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. timcallin

    I am a Clinton supporter and I'm so mad still that I'm going to sit on and keep complaining over and over that Obama is the nominee! Someone please listen to me for the next 8 years! Oh, and send Clinton your hard earned money so she can pay off her debt. I can't afford it. Thank you!!!!

    August 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Cole

    Obama is the one who chose to make this into a game and to treat gullible Americans like high schoolers. I can't image how 1,000,000+ people were stupid enough to play his game. Obama loves the media when they are on his side and aren't asking him the tough questions, then his staff wants to blame CNN for actually doing their job.
    Obama you have disrespected Hillary and her supporters and you will lose. The pundits may say you made a "good choice", etc..., but it is a losing choice. I predict you will get a 3:00AM phone call on Nov. 5th telling you that you lost and I hope it is MI and FL that stick it to you because Hillary is the only one who could have helped you there.

    August 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. lou


    August 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. aware

    Sure, and the moon really is made of green cheese! 🙁

    August 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Kathy

    Way to go CNN!
    We've been waiting forever for this, thank you for breaking it! I wasn't fair for him to wait so long to tell us after he already made his choice!!

    August 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |


    August 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. cowbulls

    Of course the 3 am was a dig at the Clinton's. Obama hates them and they hate him.

    August 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. eric

    you guys just love to pat yourselves on the back, eh? the best team in tv, yada yada yada……don't break your arm doing it…

    and by the way, it has not gone unnoticed that after the naming of Biden, your network has been non stop trying to create controversy over it….

    I thought your purpose was to COVER the news, not make it..after all, are you not the best political team on earth?

    August 24, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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