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. barbara

    This is very scary!! This woman is a heart beat away from being the President of the United States. If she didn't speak to reporters in Wasilla, Alaska, that's their business. But, when she won't take questions as the VP candidate, that's OUR business!!

    September 23, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Sam in NC

    She probably was telling him she was keeping an eye on Russia from her front porch...She is just to light weight to be VP esp next to an old man like McCain

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Connie

    All this from the folks who pride themselves on being 'transparent'. Sure, I see it!!

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Ron

    Showing her legs to the President of a Muslim Nation is a Cultural Faux Pas. They whip women in Afghanistan for doing that.

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Nice snark-fest

    Good grief. Obama didn't allow any press access during his meetings overseas. I don't remember you folks whining about that back then.

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Kelby from Houston, TX

    But why? The more they keep Palin away from the public and inside of this special bubble, the more I wonder why. What are they hiding?

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. norcal

    The networks and the press should boycot the McCain campaign. They want their cake and eat it to. Too bad you guys have no nerve.

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Madison

    Another convenient "mix-up". Anybody wanna wager if anything of any substance was discussed?

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Joe PA

    They couldn't have anyone in there because no one wants to see a VP candidate get laughed at by a world leader.

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Gidget Has Tea & Cookies

    John already has a fist lady. He doesn't need another one to sit down and have cookies and tea.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Moose Burgers

    OMG! Please keep her away! Tell her there are Wolves on the loose in Alaska or a Polar Bear Cub she can club to death.

    She is scary enough to start WWIII....why are they hiding from the media/??? Hmmmm.

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Jesus Praising & Freedom Loving Patriot


    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Justin

    Clearly the McCain camp was afraid of overwhelming the world with Palin's vast intelligence and experience.

    Don't you know that the VP is to be SEEN, not heard. Geez people.

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. McPalin

    What a joke, McCain and Palin are two dumb idiots. I can't believe they expect us to believe this woman some how has foreign policy experience because she talked with a guy in her country that was from another country. I met hundreds of Indians, Chinese, and Russias in college am I a foreign policy expert now! Geez, what a joke!

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Kiah G

    WHAT A JOKE! Photo ops (check)...

    The longer this campaign goes on the more I can't stand McCain!

    September 23, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. in Oregon

    Oh, sure, just a little "mix up"! Whoopsie! Just like the mix up where:

    -Palin failed to respond to a subpoena
    -Palin refused to cooperate in the Troopergate investigation
    -Palin said she ad-libbed a speech because the teleprompter broke, but a McCain aide said that no such thing happened
    -Palin told congress, "Thanks, but no thanks..." for that bridge she wanted
    Etc., etc., etc.

    Well, whoopsie, just call me another Registered Independent White Woman Voter for Obama/Biden!

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Barbara

    Just something else the republicans wants to hide from us. American People deserve better than McCain and Palin. With all thats going on with the economy and people saying she hasn't got foreign experience and they want to hide this from the American people. What a bunch of Crock. I am so tired of the republicans bring down the country hiding things. I'm not wanting another four years of this Mess again

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Daryl in Seattle

    HAHAHAHA!!! "Oh nice" she says. So that was like, Hockey Mom meets actual International Political Figure for the 1st time and she talked to him like they were out moose shooting. And what's with these guys having the nerve to bar CNN from the room? As if we don't already know she has nothing of importance to discuss with these world leaders. Banning the media from our so-called next Vice President is certainly not the way to gain votes.

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. teebob2000

    In what respect, Charlie?

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Bob R

    Palin's not qualified for being on the bottom of the ticket having a few meetings with world leaders ? Why then should Obama be considered qualified for being ON THE TOP OF THE TICKET for going over to Europe for a week or so having the same type of meetings ? Are you really absolutely sure that there's no sexism going on here with the way that people are thinking ? Really though....if a man does these things he's qualified but if a female does the same she's not ?

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    So when world leaders meet...wouldn't they pretty much talk about the same things we all do in the first few minutes: family, children, home town, etc.

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. Rhonda


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

    What business is it of the press? Have they been invited to Obama's meetings with his European admirers?

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. Sarah Bell

    What are they hiding?!?!?!?! This is going to be Bush/Cheney allllll over again!!!!!

    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. victor,nj


    September 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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