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. gene

    Well.. of course she'll go with McCain on his town hall meetings. She can't do it herself because then she'll have to field questions by herself.. and we already know how that will turn out.

    She's great at reciting speaches written for her.. but when it comes to coming up with thoughts of her own... she sounds like Ms. South Carolina answering questions about geography.

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





    September 13, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Anita

    I love this!!!! A 72 year old Senator who has been in politics for 26 years suddenly needs to be held up by his VP pick? And a VP pick is ready to be POTUS if need arises, and would not blink in the face of confrontation with Russia, is too terrified to face cameras and the press on her own sans a script? A person with tremendous executive experience is terrified of the press?

    The Republicans cannot stop crying SEXISM. Yet this did not stop them from printing those buttons that the attendees of the convention wore. Remember them " Coldest State, Hottest Governor." Do not remember anyone calling Arnold Schwarznegger a "Hot Governor" or any of the other male governors across this country!

    If this was a male VP who refused to meet the press what would be the reaction? Would it be excused and justified?

    September 13, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  4. Stubby Kaye

    Is it me or do I sense that every major news outlet is campaigning for an Obama win? I was just on Real Clear Politics and the majority of the articles are attacks on John McCain and Sarah Palin. Bob Herbert of the NYT has the audacity to say Palin isn't qualified yet because he's black he doesn't hold Obama to the same standard. I sense those on the left like Dana here are getting more and more unhinged. Start challenging Obama's stands on the issues because the more you attack Palin the better chance that McCain will win the backlash vote. But we know the liberal left media doesn't want the American people knowing the truth about Obama, do we!

    September 13, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Judy

    As a supporter of Senator Clinton, if McCain thinks that simply any woman on the ticket would give him Clinton's supporters than he is not giving us much credit; there is nothing about Gov. Palin that would cause me to vote for this ticket. Because of McCain's age I would be to afraid that Gov. Palin would be in the number 1 position and there is nothing about her that inspires trust in her judgement. This is a person who would let big oil destroy the habitat of the polar bear to get more oil (in about 10 years) rather than force the automakers and oil companys to use the tax credits that they already get to develop alternative energy.

    September 13, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. Joe

    Gee, the way that the press has smeared McCain/Palin and worshipped Obama, these reporters ought to be thankful he doesn't toss out the bums out the door completely.

    September 13, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. VotingObama08

    If these "town halls" are anything like those of the current administration, expect a room full of carefully screened McCain/Palin supporters, whose questions are vetted, scripted and crafted by the campaign as pure PR to generate good sound bytes for the next news cycle. How is that helpful to voters in any way? That is pure theatrics! Give me a real town hall, with dissenting opinions, truly undecided voters, and an open forum of non-scripted questions instead of more staged PR any day! Let the chips fall where they may. That would be truly refreshing...

    September 13, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. Travis

    Why should the McCain camp bring along Obama supporters posing as journalists? What purpose is served by that? The simple truth is that John McCain is finally realizing the role that 'journalists' have chosen for themselves.

    September 13, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Rich

    That's right McCain, keeping pimping her out. It's a shame she is not allowed to travel alone. Does McCain think that she can't handle herself without supervision? I think that is sexist. He should treat her like she is equal to a man; not like a weakling.

    September 13, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. Tammy in Boise

    Gov. Palen will still be controlled by the McCain campaign even if she is in a town hall meeting, because I think that the questions will be pre-approved and fixed.

    September 13, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. Steve Garcia

    Smart, Smart, Smart.
    The press aren't going to give you a fair shake, Go over their heads and get your message out.
    Throw the middle punks out with the old stale pizza and used kitty litter.

    McCain/Palin 08 !

    September 13, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. Greg FL.

    It's the only way they can one, keep their stories straight and two, keep the crowds.

    September 13, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |

    You know it's said that more men are actually voting for Palin than women, I think I understand why besides her being pretty, I think it's because they worry that if they judge her for her abilities and if they find the flaws there that they must be backdated in thinking, they are not as hip or modern as they themselves have always tried to be.Well let me as a woman free you up in your thinking. It's nothing wrong in making a good sound judgement call in a person whether they be male or female in fact it is a most up to date thinking process if you judge or weigh them evenly by examining them for what they stand for such as their policies and character after all this election is a most important one in modern day history because so very much is at stake. Another fact is, if you do not place your vote base on sound judgement and not reasonable judgement you are not being responsible.

    September 13, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. sam

    I am sure that they will provide planted "voters" who will ask her questions to which she has memorized the answers–if this happens at all. There is no way that they will open her up to questions that she won't be able to answer–which are most of the questions that might be asked.

    September 13, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. humgrad, iowa city, ia

    Hold on a minute– as a mayor and as the governor of America's largest state, Sarah Palin has no doubt taken questions from voters before. And since when is it permissible for the media to tell the public whether something has "likely" happened or not? When dealing with a simple, verifiable fact journalists should do their research.

    September 13, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. Ohio for Obama/Biden 08

    Another rich older white man running for office. What is new about that?

    September 13, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Larry Robinson

    Controlled access to a man who wants to rule the world. Sound familiar? Sorta like McCain no longer decides for himself; guess it will not be that way in the Whitehouse, duh...

    September 13, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. gl

    McShame is the won running for President, but can't go on the trail by himself becasue he know he can not draw a crown. How sad this must be. I guest the two liars will be campaigning together to continue speading more lies about Obama. How low can you go.

    September 13, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. gl

    CNN has learned that John McCain and Sarah Palin plan to hold joint town hall meetings next week.

    Good I hope the crown grill Sarah Palin and McShame on all their lies they have been spreading.

    September 13, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. woman for Obama

    McCain is trying to deceive the American people into believing he has not been Bush's sidekick the last eight years. He is a dishonorable man, running a dishonorable, lying, smear campaign.He would be another disaster president, lying to the American people.

    September 13, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. Sandra

    I am listening to your program featuring several women talking about Palin.. What nonsense. The question is Is she ready to be President. ? Does she have the credentials? The average American may not know what the Bush Doctrine is, but she should have known if she is going to be Vice President or perhaps President.

    I can't believe what triviality we the people are being submitted to.
    The issues are the important thing.

    The media must be more responsible in reporting. You lose your credibility with all the nonsense.

    September 13, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. gl

    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.

    I guest not becasue she having nothing to say to them by lies. Voters desire to know Palin views on the issues. How long are the McShame/Palin go to hide from questions from the media and voters?

    September 13, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  23. mb--texas

    Well what is new two together.Vetted fast and one visit then pow vp pick.He has to have her with him to draw crowd .

    September 13, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. voter

    not interact with voters
    Bot ready to go near the WH nor washington even.
    let her stay in Alaska.
    once her term is over, we will have some one to replace her.
    this dummy team.

    September 13, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. Serious Voter

    This campaign consists of a bunch of liars. Leading the pack. John McSame and Sarah Samelin.

    September 13, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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