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. KH

    Ridiculous – all just for show. As if talking to these leaders about the weather and their family is going to prop up her non-existent foreign policy credentials.

    She should stick with the "I can see Russia from my house" line – it highlights her unpreparedness for the position she was drafted to fill.

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Bridget

    Wooooo, 15-20 seconds of coverage. I REALLY wish whoever was pulling the strings over at the McCain/Palin campaign would figure out that we rely on the media to help us get closer to the candidates, and that they look really, really SHADY and SNEAKY more and more each day. We don't want four more years of that!!

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Ryan in VA

    Wow thats cool............


    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Timothy - Brooklyn, NY

    The McCain camp calls it a "misunderstanding" – I call it yet another dangerous sign of a closing society

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Idependent

    I'd rather hear about their PLAN to get us out of this mess their side has gotten us in!!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Amazing

    This has got to be a joke. We are supposed to vote for someone that has hid from the media, doesn't answer questions, choose her nterviews etc. This is absurd. This election is so important, we have a little over 40 days left and they are shielding her. This is just a slap in the face to the American People.

    If AMERICA elect these two liars MccAine and Palin, AMERICA deserves what it gets.

    VOTERS should be outraged.

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. NG in DC

    perfect topic of discussion - what is the meaning of your child's strange name? Let me tell you mine....

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Disgusted in CA

    If Gov.Palin is ready to lead us out of this economic mess, housing bubble, raising unemployment, wars in Iraq and Afghanisthan, health care crisis and emergence of China and Rusiis, why is she NOT READY TO ANSWER questions? As an American, how do I make judgements about her qualifications? I have watched numerous Obama interviews, even in hostile environment like FOX news and Saddleback forum. From the one interview with Charlie Gibson, I am really scared about Gov.Palin becoming VP. Isn't eight years of voting for cowboys enough? Unless, Gov.Palin subjects herself to the rigors of tough questioning, we American people should boycott the ticket too.

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. VIRGINIA will be blue

    More question dodging. The low road express dodging the media.

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Maureen, Newman California

    Of course. The McCain camp is now hiding her in plain sight. They can show photos of her with the foreign leaders, and then lie about how informed, intelligent, and wonderful Palin is. Nothing new here.

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Angela

    Excuse me folks, I have a meeting with a brain surgeon this afternoon. I want to get me some doctoral experience!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Abby

    This is really disrespectful to the intelligence of the American people. Unacceptable.

    September 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Linda

    This shows how much McCain values "transparency" in government-NOT! WHAT a joke. I can't believe people would actually vote for these bozos!

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Well there you have it. Just like Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. Or George Burns and Gracie Allen.

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Billy

    So American public only deserves 29 seconds?

    Is this what McCain means when he says transparency in government?

    Thanks, but no thanks. I'm tired of being treated like an idiot by McCain and Palin.

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. John McBUSH IS A LIAR

    GEE, I wonder why? Too afraid Sarah will put her foot in her mouth trying to keep all the CRIB notes that fed her straight.........Maybe you could color code or number the crib notes for her so she doesn't say the wrong things to the wrong person.........HA HA HA HA HA HA HA



    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Linda from Prescott AZ

    If the American people stand for this we are nuts.
    This woman has to have people to monitor her, she can't meet the press unless it consists of a photo op....what the heck is wrong with this picture.

    Don't fall for this, talk about an empty suit!

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. liar


    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Dal CA

    Ice breakers will be the kids. talk about them and let the leaders know your kids are so good that they know the abstain from sex to the max. Give your eldest daughter as an example, how she is the model of abstaining from sex for the rest of the world.

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. Jesus Praising & Freedom Loving Patriot


    A typical Bush tactic...keep the public out so it doesn't see how inept you are.

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. David

    Not a surprise. They like to talk where they can't be heard or seen. I'm sure the neo-con back room dealing continues. Both parties do it.

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Southerner For Obama



    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Accountability

    Sounds more like the old Soviet Union "press conferences" to me....who do they think they are she's going to be talking about anything of any real import with Karzai. What a sham....their whole campaign is a sham....

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. McCain lost another one

    in hiding and under investigation? wow Palin has a lot on her plate.

    I met Naomi Campbell once...can i be a super model now?
    oh i met Madonna while shopping...i want MY Grammy.
    and i met Larry Fishburn...can i be in a movie now?

    with all that's going on in the world i am surprised that Palin's handlers didnt update her on these leaders stats.

    McCain=lost honor
    Palin=political gimmick
    their supporters=dangerous

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. FRANK O.

    is this what this has come down to? a photp op? wow! how easy it is to be a VP (and then possibly the POTUS) of the most powerful nation in the world. Republicans will sell their mothers to stay in power. what a joke this is. i hope none of the Americans are buying this crap.

    September 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11