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. Paul

    McCain and Palin may want to stay away from each other ...thhe may get struck by lighting or just spontaneously combust with all the lies between the two of them.

    If I was advising their camp I would seperate the two to lessen the chance they are both seen bursting into flames together at the same time.

    September 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Jersey

    Good stuff. Great team. Good balance. McCain, the foreign policy expert; Palin, the domestic policy expert.

    September 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Jerry

    Great, can't wait to hear who lies more, or is it that he will lie about her record, she will lie about his, and then they will both attack the media for telling the truth. Straight talk express right into the river/

    September 13, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. John

    I can't wait to hear from them 🙂

    September 13, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    Why is she always at the podium and he is in the bac kground? Who is going to be the president?

    September 13, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Leeahh

    McCain has told too many lies to want to have any questions asked of him. He and Palin can give their speeches (or for those who like straight talk – their pack of lies) without risking the truth being pointed out. But the moment of truth is coming closer everyday.

    September 13, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. WAW

    So McCain is appearing with the Republican vote getter. Smart move. She draws the crowd and he can keep the lid on her. If she is sooo smart and experienced, why do they keep her under wraps?

    September 13, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. seyi

    free McCain from McCain, a once honorable man, who has been a victim of dishonorobility for the good, but practising what he has fought against all his life to sit in a position his desire has made him unworthy of.

    September 13, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. kaydeedee, nashville

    I wonder if just ANY citizen will get to address questions to McCain and Palin, or if they'll be handpicked. Somehow I doubt it will actually be a free exchange of ideas no matter the questioner's affiliations. And in that format, these two will be able to say whatever they want (lies & exaggerations, if the past is precedent), with no follow-up. No wonder they want to do this type of event.

    September 13, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Jan

    I understand the last time the national media met with the Straight Talk Express, they wasted McCain's time with "gotcha" questions about Viagra.

    I live in the battle ground swing state of New Hampshire. We love John McCain and his town hall meetings. And I can't wait to meet Gov. Palin.

    I wonder why Barack Obama turned down John McCain's offer to do bipartisan town hall meetings all over America?

    Too bad. It would be a great way to compare the candidates.
    What if we offered Obama some Greek columns in the background?

    September 13, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. georgia

    So many lies to tell !
    McSame-McShame w/ female clone of self= Liars & distortionists .
    Obama / Biden 08 !!!!!!!!

    September 13, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. Mike O

    A poor substitute for town hall debates. Obama hasn't got the guts to face the Great Unwashed unless his people vett them.

    September 13, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Pearl, who can pronounce "nuclear" without a teleprompter



    More PAIN (and worse at that!) is what all of us, INCLUDING YOU IDIOTS, will have to suffer if you vote for a 3rd Bush term in the form of
    McCain-PAIN! Return the idiot back to his village (it has been 8 long years!)

    IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE. It is time for a president and a vice president
    with brilliant minds and intellectual curiosity who can make wise decisions...and can pronounce "nuclear" perfectly.

    OBAMA-BIDEN '08 AND '12

    September 13, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Very interesting New York Times article about Sara Palin. She's all that and a bag of chips! Amazing that with five kids she could still find the time to be such a sleeze! John McCain should be ashamed of himself. Country first?

    September 13, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Ron L

    Doesn't anyone else find it odd that Governor Palin IS NOT allowed to go out on her own??
    She ready to be Vice president, but not ready to go out on her own??
    I can just see the ad...Ready to be Vice-President, but not ready to campaign alone!!!

    September 13, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Karen

    "journalists". His and Gov.Palin doing TownHall type forums is an excellant idea.

    Whenever Sen.McCain disagreed with Pres.Bush–you guys LOVED HIM because you hate our President. Now that he is running for President you snickered, because you LOVE sen.obama. and thought your guy has it in the bag. Since the Republican Convention Sen.McCain is on a roll and you guys will twist and torture every word he utters and spin it to ruin him.

    We Americans are so much smarter than you elitest snobs will ever know. We can hear a candidate and know what he or she said and what their words mean, without your editing, innuendo, etc.etc.

    September 13, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. MHammon

    McCain could not speak the truth with the press or without it. Google "fire on USS Forrestal" and see what judgement he really has. He just does not get it. The world has moved on and he did not.

    September 13, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. Bill in Colorado

    Senator McCain has asked repeatedly for him and Senator Obama to hold town meetings so that both of them can answer Voters questions together. Obama has declined each and every time.

    What is he afraid of?

    September 13, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. Darren

    They ought to hold these meetings in lies schools – highly appropriate, what with all the lies and the promiscuity...

    September 13, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Richard

    Same old story – – she isn't ready for prime time. McCain obviously doesn't trust her to be on her own. It's a joke that McCain pretends that she is ready to immediately take over if needed.

    September 13, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  21. Ian

    Can't go anywhere with out your new lady, eh, McCain? How're you gonna be President if you can't even campaign by yourself?

    September 13, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. Timmy Coffee

    Liar, dammed liar and Daddy of all Liars un-American John S. McCain. Blatant racists Gary Bauer and James Dobson put on their white robes and have come out swinging. Enough …the real silent majority, Americans who respect and actually practice Christian values will not accept McCain and the religious bigot he has chosen as his vice-presidential candidate.

    September 13, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Western Voter

    The straight talk express has detoured...these are the two biggest liars since Watergate! I would think that even Republicans would reject this kind of base dishonesty.

    Obama is right...this guy is willing to destroy his own reuptation in order to!

    September 13, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. Jodi

    How about someone actually asking her questions dealing with serious issues, including the hard-nosed questions that the media has been making sure they have avoided from asking her ? and force her to actually answer the question, instead of politically going around it that she has done nothing but do thus far!!

    September 13, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. Frank

    This is great news! The Town Halls that John McCain participates in, are simply the best forums for straight talk, eye to eye with the American people! Barak is afraid of that forum!

    September 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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