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McCain Campaign Plans To Keep Palin Away From The Press

By Ali Frick  

"McCain Campaign Plans To Keep Palin Away From The Press"

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Yesterday, McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace dismissed the fact that Gov. Sarah Palin has yet to take any questions from the press. “So what?” she scoffed. Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, campaign strategist Rick Davis suggested Palin might never sit down for an interview if, he said, it’s “in our best interest” to keep her away from the media:

SCARBOROUGH: Yesterday Nicolle Wallace suggested that she was sitting right there and told Jay Carney of Time magazine ‘Sarah Palin doesn’t have to talk to you, she doesn’t’ have to talk to the press.’ … Can we expect Sarah Palin on Meet the Press and other one on one interviews throughout the course of this campaign?

DAVIS: We’re going to do whatever we think is the best to win. We have 60 days left and if we think it’s a good idea to go out there and do those shows, we’ll do them.

SCARBOROUGH: Can you avoid it? Meet the Press?

DAVIS: We can afford anything we want to do. … We’re going to do what we think is in our best interest. If that means access to the press, we’ll give it to you.

Watch it:

The McCain campaign reportedly told the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder not to expect any one-on-one interviews with Palin any time soon. Despite McCain’s pledge of transparency — even proposing a regular President’s question time with Congress modeled after the British version — he has been shutting off press access for months. Yesterday, a Time reporter explained that McCain bizarrely refused to answer his questions, “like he’d been body-snatched.”

Davis insisted that “there are no strings attached” to media access to McCain. Yet just this week, McCain abruptly canceled an interview with Larry King as punishment for a tough CNN interview with one of his spokesmen. What’s more, top McCain aide Mark Salter said that “only the good reporters” would get the best seats in the new campaign plane. “You have to earn it,” he said.

Davis told MSNBC that Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) “didn’t do a single interview until a week after his nomination,” but the assertion is false. Biden and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) sat for an interview with 60 Minutes “just moments after” Obama left the stage at the Democratic convention.

Digg It!

Transcript:

SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you about Sarah Palin and the media. Yesterday Nicholle Wallace suggested that — she was sitting right there and told Jay Carney of Time magazine ‘Sarah Palin doesn’t have to talk to you, she doesn’t’ have to talk to the press.’ You got Joe Biden coming up on Meet The Press this Sunday, can we expect Sarah Palin on Meet the Press and other one-on-one interviews throughout the course of this campaign?

DAVIS: We’re going to do whatever we think is the best to win. We have 60 days left and if we think it’s a good idea to go out there and do those shows, we’ll do them.

SCARBOROUGH: Can you avoid it? Meet the Press?

DAVIS: We can afford anything we want to do.

CHUCK TODD: Rick, this weekend, Obama’s on a Sunday show, McCain’s on a Sunday show, Biden’s on a Sunday show, is that an issue? The fact that three of the four –

DAVIS: Let me ask you this, what Sunday show did Joe Biden do right after he was nominated?

TODD: You’re right. I’m saying-

DAVIS: What are you saying? What are you saying, Chuck?

TODD: You sounded like you were saying, sounded like you weren’t definitely committing to the fact that she might feel the need to do all these one on one interviews.

DAVIS: I never commit to anything in the future. I mean, look, our strategy is in our hands, not the media’s. We’re going to do what’s in our best interest to try to win this election. If we think going on these TV shows are in our best interest, we’ll do em, if we don’t, we won’t.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Is it possible- Well, what are you saying? If you don’t put her out there and have her answer real questions, off the cuff–

DAVIS: I never said I wouldn’t put her out there.

BRZEZINSKI: I never said I wouldn’t put her out there.

[...]

SCARBOROUGH: It does look like you’re saying, again, if it suites our purposes, we’ll talk to the press, if it doesn’t, we don’t have to.

DAVIS: We give a lot of access to the press. We give a lot more access to the press than the Barack Obama campaign does. We’re going to do what we think is in our best interest. If that means access to the press, we’ll give it to you.

BRZEZINSKI: If it means that access could hurt the campaign, you will protect her? Because that’s what it may, some might think–

DAVIS: Look, you guys get to report anything you want to report about this election. There are no strings attached to our coverage. We don’t sit there and say to you guys, hey look, if you don’t report nicely, we’re not going to see you. You report what you report, we’re going to do what we’re going to do. If you want to hammer us, hammer us. But you know what, you do that anyways. So knock yourselves out.

BRZEZINSKI: How can you not put her out there for a network interview? People want to hear from her.

DAVIS: We never said we were not going to – lets be realistic here. How many network interviews did Joe Biden do in the first 7 days of his Vice Presidency?

BRZEZINKSI: I think Joe Biden would do as many network interviews as–

DAVIS: But he didn’t do them, that’s the point. Don’t recreate a new strategy here. The reality is these guys are branded to the system. These guys have just come off the trail. We didn’t say, oh where’s Joe Biden, why isn’t he doing interviews? I mean, c’mon. Give em a break, let’s have fair treatment for these candidates. Joe Biden’s didn’t do a single interview until a week after his nomination.

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