Surrogates for Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign rarely shy away from the chance to put out their talking points, regularly flacking on cable news programs. However, there is at least one cable news show they are avoiding: MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Discussing the lack of impact Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) inclusion on the McCain ticket has had with women voters (according to the latest CBS-New York Times poll), Maddow last night noted that McCain surrogates have repeatedly declined invitations to appear on the show:
MADDOW: Might it be that women care less about a candidate’s gender and more about a candidate’s position on the issues, like reproductive health, equal pay for equal work?
One note — we hope to have someone from the McCain campaign or another Republican guest on the show tonight to talk about this issue as we have contacted them about other issues on other nights. But no matter the topics, thus far at least, they have repeatedly said no one is available.
A long list then ran on the screen of McCain surrogates who have turned Maddow down, including senior campaign advisers Carly Fiorina, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Meg Whitman, Ed O’Callaghan and others. Watch it:
The McCain campaign has entered into an increasingly combative relationship with the press, demanding that reporters show Palin “deference.” The freewheeling sessions aboard the so-called “Straight Talk Express” have been ditched in favor of a more scripted and disciplined message. The campaign has even attacked the media for scrutinizing Palin, and McCain himself recently canceled an interview with Larry King because a CNN reporter had roughed up campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.
As Maddow noted, “[N]o matter the topic,” if an issue makes the campaign uncomfortable, it will probably just avoid it.