Republican presidential hopeful John McCain could reveal his choice for a running mate as early as this week, sources close to the Arizona senator have said, according to CNN and Robert Novak’s Evans-Novak Political Report.
Novak and Timothy Carney reported Monday that “sources close to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign are suggesting he will reveal the name of his vice presidential selection this week while Sen. Barack Obama is getting headlines on his foreign trip.”
Later Tuesday, however, Novak told Fox News Channel his sources may have hinted at possible vice president news as a tactic for drawing headlines away from Obama.
“I just put something on the Internet that sources close to the McCain campaign said he might name it this week but didn’t disclose the name,” Novak said on Fox. “I since have been told by certain people that this was a dodge — they were trying to get a little publicity to rain on Obama’s campaign. That’s pretty reprehensible if it’s true.”
CNN reported that correspondents Dana Bash and Gloria Borger also received confirmation from campaign sources that the option had been discussed, but that “no decision has been made,” according to the report.
“In any case, a campaign source adds, this does mean that the choice has been ‘narrowed’ in McCain’s mind to the point where he could, if he were so inclined, spring a decision this week,” CNN reported.
Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker told reporters there would be no announcement Monday. McCain spokesman Tucker Bonds said Tuesday, “we have nothing to announce today,” according to an e-mail to Congressional Quarterly.
While an announcement this week would inevitably nab some of the media spotlight from his Democratic rival’s closely watched foreign tour, the timing would mean missing the chance to counter Obama’s own running mate announcement, which is expected to come closer to the Democratic National Convention in late August.
One GOP source told CNN’s John King that the decision will be “closer to the convention and after Obama picks his,” according to the network.
If McCain did reveal his choice this week, according to CQ, it would be the earliest pre-convention running mate announcement in recent history. The Republican National Convention begins Sept. 1.
“The existing record: John Kerry announced John Edwards 20 days before the 2004 DNC,” CQ reported.
Still, speculation over who McCain’s choice will be — whenever he chooses to announce it — will continue to circulate as he meets Wednesday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal who is rumored to be a VP possibility.