September 23rd, 2008
02:45 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain camp tries to keep reporters out of Palin meetings

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The media was allowed to observe Palin and Karzai for less than 30 seconds."](CNN) - McCain-Palin campaign officials shifted course Tuesday after being informed by television news organizations that they would not broadcast footage of Sarah Palin’s meeting with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai Tuesday in New York - the Republican VP nominee’s first with a foreign leader - if a reporter was not allowed in to observe the pair.

CNN, which was the pool network for the event, informed the campaign of its decision. The network was then told a CNN producer would be allowed in the room to act as a media representative, just minutes before the photo op was scheduled to take place. However, print reporters and wire services were not allowed to observe the meeting, as they have been able to do at similar McCain events in the past.

The press only caught a brief glimpse of the vice presidential nominee. Palin was seated in a large chair a few feet from Karzai, with a table in between them. Seated slightly behind Palin were campaign foreign policy advisers Steve Biegun and Randy Scheunemann, who are accompanying the governor in her motorcade today.

As the pool entered, the Afghan president appeared to be telling Palin about his young son, who was born in January 2007.

Palin, her legs crossed and at one point patting her heart, was leaning in eagerly and smiling. Karzai, wearing his traditional clothes but without his trademark karakul hat, was also grinning while discussing the child. His remarks were mostly unintelligible as the noise from the clicking cameras drowned them out.

“What is his name?,” Palin asked.

“Mirwais,” Karzai responded. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.’”

“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

“He is the only one we have,” remarked Karzai.

After 29 seconds observing the meeting, CNN and other photographers covering the meeting were escorted out of the room.

Later, McCain-Palin press representatives chalked up the restrictions to a “mix-up, a miscommunication among staff.” The full pool — a print and wires reporter, along with a television producer — was then allowed in to observe Palin’s meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for 15-20 seconds.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Do we really care–she has nothing to say because she has no knowledge of anything .all the wheels are off on the slow express bus now .

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Shane

    "What's his name?" "That's nice."

    Wow, Gov Sarah is getting lots of foreign policy experience today!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Matt in Pittsburgh

    Why should the press be allowed into those meetings? They didn't get to sit in on the Lord High Obama's meetings during his extremely premature victory lap, nor was there any questioning as to why they were excluded

    and YES I am comparing Obama to Stalin and Lenin. All marxist community street thugs. deal with it. and I do know Russian history and the comparison is very valid.

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. ncharge

    Believe me the Republican Party will ensure that the media craft their reporting of the meeting carefully.....the media is being controlled by...they have to be nice to the dimwit or they are subject to being replaced. She is a puppet.....disgrace to all the intelligent woman in the US. How in the world did she hold an office in Alaska is just unbelievable. She just opens her month without attacking and you get the real thing...Just Plain dumb! Shame on the McCain camp for choosing and not vetting her.

    She now cooperates will cooperate with a separate probe run by people she can get rid of...This lady is spooky!

    What a total disgrace....and the McCain camp is allowed to get away with this crap. What are we being reduced to? Shame! Shame! on all who has fallen for this game..

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Sarah Palin and African Americans in Alaska

    World leaders talking about their children. How cute. So why did Karzai feel that was the subject he should speak of to get to know Sarah? Would he have spoke of the same subject had it been Hillary or Condi Rice? I doubt it. It's a slap in Palin's face that says "what else is there to talk about with you?"

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Michael in Houston

    Nice set up McCain/Palin camp. They didn't want anyone asking questions. It's almost like they are hiding something. I guess now that they discussed kids names, she has some foriegn policy experience. Why isn't she meeting with the President of Iran? Oh that's right, she cannot resolve the Bush Doctrine with The President of Iran because she does not know what the Bush Doctrine is! Nice photo op, Bert and Ernie. Palin sucks!

    Yes We Can!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Michael


    OMG, this is rediculous.

    Talk about sensorship... I cannot believe that the American People continue to allow the republicans to continue to shut the media out. It is the most effect way for the People to see the candidates in any election. How are we suppose to make any objective, substantive and educated conclusions about the policies and stances and ideologies of them without it?????

    This whole thing stinks to High heaven!!!

    I have so little respect for John McCain and Sarah Palin... They talk about transparency, but they are about as transparent as a piece of solid steel.

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Jenn-NAY Gump

    Really? I mean, seriously?

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Republican not buying it..

    The show puppet was on display for the media for 15-20 seconds.... laughable. "patting her heart" comical. I was very interested in her, now that I know more about her, I might have to vote for Obama/Biden, as this republican gov. is not ready to be a heartbeat away.

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Steve in CA

    Does the McCain camp think that they are doing anything goood here? She meets with these people, yes, but they try to limit the actually content of the meeting. What are they affraid of? I'm sure it's not a lack of conficance in their VP pick, right?

    I've never seen a VP pick get "handled" this much before. It is obvious the McCain camp does not have confidance in her.

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. DB

    "The restrictions have been due to a “mix-up, a miscommunication among staff.”"

    Oh I feel so much better. It's not the case that the McCain campaign is shielding Sarah Palin from the press. It's just that they are utterly incompetent

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Gidget Gets Serious

    "Ya know, I've never been anywhere except Kuwait, Mexico and Canada."

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. AJ

    This may be the first time that I've seen on the national political stage where a candidate or elected official is deemed so risky that coverage is cut down instead of seeked to enhance the person's message.

    Regardles of how one leans in this election, we should be entitled to hear her views and evaluate her ability to engage in a discussion.

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. Trish

    Why such secrecy? Why does any access have time limitations. I guess you can look only to take a picture for her photo op. I really do not trust her. I am trying to like her but she is holding something back. So many lies..I still want to know about the trooper..I have questions about her honesty.

    I am a republican..leaning heavily towards Obama.

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. CarolAnn

    Why expose the world to this out-of-control campaign? This ticket is an absolute mess.

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Doug

    Evita probaly asked the Afghan leader,
    "I can see Russia from my house.. can you?"

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Raymond Duke

    CNN I do not know who you are trying to kid with that electoral board of yours and with your latest polls. You are the only ones that has the statistics for Obama that way. I got a lot of respect for John King and Lou Dobbs( the only ones for CNN) I do not think unless he was forced to do this to keep his job would King put such a stupid board up.

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Betsy

    I agree with TeSap. McCain, Rove et. all must think Palin is a complete fool and she can only be trusted with a stump script.

    Media - You all need to highlight for DAYS the lengths the McCain Camp is going to just so no journalist will ask her a real question...

    Would anyone hire a plumber if that plumber refused to answer questions? NO WAY!!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Ms. GA

    Why is she avoiding the press?

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Anderson Dallas Texas Obama 08

    Come On America .... Is this train the VP week .. so America you tell me that in the middle of a world crisis we can train VP's as we go along.. Give me a break....And it does seems like sometimes Obama is running against his own party like the comment that Biden and yesterday and that comment Bill Clinton made ...that okay because Obama is healthy and young he will be President ..Go Obama Palin now has her Foreign Politics on her resume ........She did not even know there names....duhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. VCC

    Why won't they allow the press to sit in on her meetings? Are they afraid of how she would actually present herself? Are they afraid that the heads of state she was meeting with would not treat her with deference? She is not looking very Presidential with all these restrictions on the reporters.

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Rob

    Is she going to talk about her lipstick color ?

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. CT Voter

    What a farce. A total farce.

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. JL

    This is truly disrespectful to us, the American people. We should be involved in the processes. This GOP spoof is becoming more and more ridiculous. Come on, what do you have to hide? Obviously, something significant.

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. karen-phoenix

    We are NOT stupid Americans!! McCain we can see right through Pelin's inability to even talk let alone run a country!!! She knows nothing about the lower 48 or does she care!!! She got a D in economics!!! Vote Obama/Biden for the survival of the United States!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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