September 13th, 2008
06:25 PM ET
8 years ago

McCain and Palin plan joint town halls in battleground states

McCain and Palin will hold joint events in key states.

McCain and Palin will hold joint events in key states.

RENO, Nevada (CNN) - CNN has learned that John McCain and Sarah Palin plan to hold joint town hall meetings next week.

A McCain adviser says early plans are to hold the town halls in western Michigan and Wisconsin, although the exact details of where and when they will be held are still being worked out.

These events would likely mark the first time Palin takes questions from voters.

Aides say her solo campaign events planned for Nevada Saturday, Colorado Monday, and Ohio Tuesday are all scheduled as rallies where she will speak to but not interact with voters.

McCain is known for his town hall meetings, and often touts his penchant for the ask-anything approach as proof of his "straight talk."

But he hasn't held a town hall in almost a month - since August 20 in New Mexico.

And the man who promised to hold frequent press conferences in the White House hasn't held an availability with traveling reporters in exactly a month: His last press conference was August 13.

McCain aides are quite candid about the fact that they tried for months to persuade him to hold fewer press conferences in order to stay on message, and finally succeeded.

First, he stopped bringing reporters on his bus for his signature "straight talk legs."

Then he severely cut back on what had been a McCain campaign trail staple - a press conference after events with voters.

Senior advisers say they believe that has allowed them to better refine and control their message, and insist that contributed to his rise in the polls even before Palin was picked.

Instead, McCain does a slew of interviews with local reporters and anchors - not just in the states he's visiting, but also via satellite.

It’s a tried and true way for candidates to get their messages out through what campaigns consider to be less of a “filter.”

McCain aides have been getting complaints from traveling reporters about the reduced access, but it is still unclear when or if he'll hold another press conference.

–CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Brenan

    For someone who complains so much about how the White House is no place for on-the-job training, McCain and Palin are sure spending an awful lot of time practicing their message before facing the general public.

    September 13, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  2. A. L.Vann

    No–Obama does not regret not picking Hillary Clinton, however, we all know that McCain is oh SO sorry that he ever picked you, Palin!

    September 13, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. MW

    "Straight Talk" my A __ __ !!! More like DOUBLE TALK !! McCain's advisers know best. The more McCain & Palin talk, the more they hang themselves. So this is why the McCain camp took away the rope. But guess what McSame advisers, people notice when a candidate for President of the United States refuses to answer basic questions.

    September 13, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Shannon

    Big crowds for McCain.

    Penn and Ohio are going to love Sarah.

    Obama should have picked Hillary. Talk about poor judgment.

    September 13, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. You Did Not!!

    Good luck with that. you two. What, are you inseparable twins now?

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 13, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. Gilbert

    McBush is keeping Sarah pretty close to him-could it be that his people have to keep the lines coming for her-she won't give a yes or no, she's always talking her way around the issues just like her boss.Go OBAMA/BIDEN

    September 13, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. truth now

    He can't go alone and she can't go alone. Reason being she doesn't know what she's talking about and nobody wants to see him unless they are ready to go to sleep.

    September 13, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  8. NC

    How come she cant hold town hall meeting by herself,why are they so afraid to let this woman out on her own isnt she running for the vice,theres something wrong with this picture on the wall and CNN you should find out who the author is .McCain is auctioning off someone to the people of America and dont want anyone not even his party to know.Icouldnt say anything about my daughters pregnancy because I had a baby 8 months after i got married caught it in her bio on CNN I guess she lied to her parent why she eloped

    September 13, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  9. Susan

    I will bet money that they are scripted answers, and not honest ones. McCain and Palin don't know how to do realy discussions

    September 13, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  10. Indipendant for Obama


    McCain is smart ..........50,000 people with Miss Moosehunter by his side, 50 senior citizen without!

    I can't wait until the debates when he will face Obama 1 on 1 and the real questions will be asked!!!!!!!!!

    September 13, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  11. Shannon

    They are getting huge crowds, it's the first time I've thought that it's possible that Obama might not win. He's now saying McCain is running a sleazy campaign, this from a man who labeled the Clinton's racist to win. He would know sleaze, that's for sure!

    September 13, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  12. John

    I'm shocked. Palin's not taking any questions?

    September 13, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. Jeremy

    Here we go again not letting her go out alone, Afraid she is going to screw up. Once again it will be the same speach.."Roble, Roble, Roble" He will be mouthing what she is supposed to say. She is starting to show her colors per the ABC interview. And as for Senator McCain He cant answer the straight questions about the real issues....Roble, Roble, Roble........and dont forget more lies to come folks!

    September 13, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. California Voter

    Not surprised that Palin will just hold rallies in the states she'll be visiting next. That follows what Obama did as you began on the campaign trail - rallies, speeches, but no mingling with the press.

    September 13, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. The Truth

    2 OILMEM on the stage together, lets here drill baby drill now, with OIL RIGS floating in the gulf.
    If we were relying on more offshore drilling right now we would be screwed,on our knees begging the same country,s were trying to gain independence from,( please we need OIL)
    We have already seen what 8 yrs of OILMEN and LOBBYIST in office can do, we don,t need MC SAME and PALIN to help take this country downhill any further.
    White america wake up the Junior SENATOR OBAMA did not do this it,s always been rich, old, white men screwing 95% of AMERICA. over and over and over.
    It,s time to change that really OLD BROKEN RECORD!!

    September 13, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. CB

    Watch McCain hide behind Palin's skirt. Its sad.

    September 13, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Something is very wrong with McCain and America better wakeup and recognize it. McCain isn't showing responsibility as why he should be president and he can't be allowed to succeed. Americans are treading on dangerous territory with McCain, something is very wrong with McCain and it doesn't take a genious to know this.

    September 13, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  18. David

    What's the matter Palin; can't do this without McSame at your side? They saw the mess you made of the interview with "charlie" and don't dare let you go it alone.


    September 13, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. D

    nobody cares about this. can we report real news about the candidates?

    September 13, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. Dave Olson

    Dana, you say But he hasn't held a town hall in almost a month — since August 20 in New Mexico.

    Are we to say with you, Wow, what a change??

    Hmmm. Perhaps it had something to do with the Democratic Convention and then the Republican Convention taking up 2 weeks of those 24 days.

    September 13, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. Rosanne

    I have not heard anyone mention, the 'one issue voter'. I know far too many of them. They vote on the right to life issue. They may agree with the Democrats on every other issue, but they feel compelled to vote for the republicans to try to reverse Roe vs Wade becaue of religious views. Our country deserves voters who vote more than one issue.

    September 13, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. Grandma for Obama

    Ready from day one?

    Then why can't she campaign on her own from day one?

    September 13, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  23. April

    MCCAIN/PALIN FOR PRESIDENT 2008 AND HILLARY 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 13, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  24. J.C.

    Both McCain and Obama camps have connections with lobbyists. We really need a law that prohibit any elected representatives or officials from working as a lobbyist for five or seven years after they quit the public position. If the person was a lobbyist, there should be also freeze period of five years before he or she can take a public position.

    The lobbyists should have no access to our public officials. They can publish or post anything they want online, but they should not be able to interact with our officials directly. it is extremely unfair that lobbyists have more access to our officials than the voters do.

    September 13, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. Misty

    McCain thinks he is being smart. Take Palin to small Town Hall Meetings, away from any Debates, and away from the Media!

    You can't hide her forever McCain!!!!
    People are learning more and more about your Mistake everyday!!!!

    September 13, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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