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. Don

    Woo. Hoo. She can cram for her exam and spout the pre rehearsed answers for Charlie Gibson. Next, she's on Hannity - some hard hitting questions there. Now she's gonna take questions from a pre screened audience of neo con fanatics.

    This whole campaign is becoming one gigantic "Stupid Pet Trick".

    September 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Indiana Voter

    Aides say her solo campaign events /............./ are all scheduled as rallies where she will speak to but not interact with voters.

    Obviously they, the Repulsivicans, are petrified of what the results might be. Difficult to understand what anyone see's in her other than she's a soccer mom.


    September 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Lone Star Wolf

    Why don't OBAMA do the same. I'm sure the people would like some one on one with him since he such an expert in the economy and the like. All he has ever had to do is balance his home budget and he couldn't even do that without The felon REZKO making sure he made $860,000 on their joint venture.

    September 13, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. loribee

    McSame won't let her out of his sight! I think it is a two sided thought....1. After the Gibson interview, McSame is afraid to let her loose on the country and 2. After his interview on The View, he is using Palin as a shield.

    September 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. jamie

    Apparently McCain has been overstating the size of crowds coming to his rallies.

    And–I just read about McCain's first wife, who he dumped, for Cindy, after she was maimed in a car accident. She mothered three children for him and waited for him to return from Vietnam. And he dumped her for a woman who was 20 years younger.

    GoP. Party of family values, indeed.

    Chrsitians everywhere ought to be dismayed by this crowd.

    September 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. Moderate and Balanced

    Sarah Palin has woken up American women all over the country. A modern American working mom who is not tainted by Washington, who has the same problems we do. She has no ties to the media elite and has a record to clean up government. Just what this country needs...the real change we need. All the women I know are excited and I am so thrilled to have someone who is not a "bra-burner" as a role model for my girls!

    September 13, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. B

    She sure does attrack more people than him – ha ha ha ha ha

    Put her on the top of the ticket!!!!!!

    September 13, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. WI women for OBAMA

    Can somebody explain exactly why Palin is so afraid to interact with voters and answer direct questions??

    I think it's offensive that she's allowing the McCain campaign to keep her on such a short leash. If she's competent enough to step in for McCain in office if the need should arise, she's certainly competent enough to talk with people and answer questions.

    The McCain campaign obviously isn't confident in her ability to 'get it right'. They should have picked someone they actually had faith in.

    September 13, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |

    So now McCain takes no questions and makes no more comments to the press? Palin only TALKS at rallies and TAKES NO QUESTIONS...What in the world are these two Republicans Hiding? I have never heard of such seclussions during a campaign. What do you stand for Senator McCain? What are you going to do for Senior Citizens? What about my Social Security? What about Healthcare? I only know that Barack Obama has answered ALL MY QUESTIONS. I am still witing to hear from you.

    September 13, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. va fulton

    CNN made an announcement that McCain, Obama, AND Palin would be making a comments about Hurricane Ike Later.
    Why in this world is CNN treating Palin like she is the Republican candidate for President. She is McCain's pick for V.P. (poor choice, my opinion) In fact you are letting her speak as I type this. CNN if Palin is getting coverage you should be giving Joe Biden the same coverage. I wish all TV stations could quit trying to get certain people elected. You see what happened to our country when you did the same thing with Bush, I only hope you wake up and do what is right . We can't let Palin try to run this country. She is not qualified! And you know it. What do you have to gain?? It may be all your employee out on the street and their homes in foreclosure. Please start giving the Democrats the same good coverage .

    September 13, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. lynn

    What hypocrsy but no surprise that McCain criticizes Obama for going ahead with an announced and planned event during Ike when he had no events planned and this article states Palin is campaigning in Nevada.

    This man is putting getting elected before country and honor.

    September 13, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  12. sandy

    Of course there going to appear together. He can't get crowds to just see him, and she can't appear on her own because there affraid of what she might say. This is certainly a great duo don't you think? God help us all.

    September 13, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. Felly


    September 13, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. Ron

    Will the audience for these townhall meetings be screened to only allow pro-McCain people to enter, as Bush has done at almost every appearance???

    September 13, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. Dick/NH

    Just keeping her on a short leash so he can rescue her when she is in "deer in the headlights" mode.

    September 13, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Brian Thompson

    What is he hiding?

    It is seeming more and more like Buch-Cheney.

    September 13, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  17. I wan't in!

    Hey, Mr. McCain, I'm an American voter with questions, can I go and ask Gov. Palin some unscripted questions?

    What?? Why not?? But I just want to know if she really means she is willing to go to war with Russia over any border dispute.

    What?? What do you mean I'm unAmerican and hate Jesus?? I just want to ask some questions! She IS going to be President someday, after all.

    Oh well, I guess only "true patriots" deserve freedom of speech.

    September 13, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Zion

    Progress for women, speak when spoken to.

    September 13, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. Dori in AZ

    The Pathological Liars Express!

    September 13, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. MikeH

    So why isn't she traveling by herself? Is she a coward who can't talk about any issues because she is too ignorant?

    Does she need to have someone there to tell her what the answers to peoples questions are?

    CNN, why aren't you asking about why she's afraid to campaign by herself?

    September 13, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  21. Jim

    Considering the fact that the press is biased and actively trying to elect Obama, McCain is making a smart move.

    September 13, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Trish A

    OH Yeah Joint town hall meetings. Like I guess that means her and McSame will be Together Again (just like the song!) HA I bet Cindy will soon be getting jealous especially since John has a history of cheating! These two are just too much!! Who do they think they're fooling! Sarah unlike Reta MacNeil certainly aint' flyin on her own. And McSame should have known she didn't have her wings yet being a former pilot! HA And OH YEAH I really liked the bit about the event planned for Tuesday where she "will speak to but not interact with voters." HAHAHAHA Of course she won't, her one interaction with Gibson was enough to show Amerians how unqualified and unknowledgable she truly is about the Politics and Affairs of America!

    Have some respect for yourselves and GIVE IT UP John and Sarah. You are the most pathetic team ever to dawn a Presidential Election!
    I think they should make "Together Again" and then "Breaking Up IS Hard To Do" their theme songs and then "D I V O R C E" when they're leaving town! HAHAHAHA Comedy at it's Best!

    September 13, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. Dubious

    Of course they will have joint town hall meetings because, undoutedly, Palin can't stand on her own.

    September 13, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. Concerned Canadian

    Just a thought did any idiots out there actually know what executive experience was or that it was somehow a pre-requisite to be President or VP before the McCain camp and the Republicans told you it was the case????

    September 13, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. Bill Skolnik

    When you compare facts against MSM sound bites it makes perfect sense to limit access to those who will report objectively vs those who will twist a moment and try to reinforce their agenda.

    You reap what you sow, and the media is wondering why someone who they enjoy kicking in the head has said, no thank you.

    September 13, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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