Rick Davis on McCain Campaign’s Media Approach With Palin

“And she will be available to the news media when and if we decide that that is going to be the case.”

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis took to Fox News Sunday and not only had some harsh words for news organizations but also proved fairly stubborn in the face of Chris Wallace’s questions about Palin’s media availability (or lack thereof).

After the jump…

    But let me move on to something else. Governor Palin has given some very good speeches this week, and I think everybody, Republican or Democrat, would say that she was very effective at the Republican convention.

    She has not answered a single question from the national media. When is she going to agree to an interview?

    DAVIS: She’ll agree to an interview when we think it’s time and when she feels comfortable doing it.

    Look, your network last night had a wonderful special on — Greta van Susteren had an intimate portrayal of this mayor or this governor when she was in Alaska still and not on our ticket. It was a wonderful look inside who Sarah Palin is — a working mother, you know, a brave and courageous politician. And I think you all did a great job of doing it.

    It’s not like there’s no information out there about Sarah Palin, the governor, the mother, the agent for change. There’s plenty out there, and I don’t think…

    WALLACE: Why is she scared to answer…

    DAVIS: I don’t think our campaign…

    WALLACE: Why is she scared to answer questions?

    DAVIS: I don’t think our campaign is the campaign that has not given immense amount of access to the press. That’s the Obama campaign.

    WALLACE: Why is she scared to answer questions?

    DAVIS: She’s not scared to answer questions. But you know what? We run our campaign, not the news media. And we’ll do things on our timetable. And honestly, this last week was not an exemplary moment for the news media.

    WALLACE: I understand that.

    DAVIS: And so why would we want to throw Sarah Palin into a cycle of piranhas called the news media that have nothing better to ask questions about than her personal life and her children?

    And I think our attitude would be why don’t we let that pass until we expose her to…

    WALLACE: I think there are legitimate questions that — and it doesn’t have to be a huge news conference. I’m not telling you how to run your campaign.

    DAVIS: Sure.

    WALLACE: There are legitimate questions about is she or is she not ready to be commander in chief. If last week didn’t work, why not this week?

    DAVIS: Sarah Palin will have the opportunity to speak to the American people. She just gave a speech to 40 million Americans in her convention.

    WALLACE: But that was reading a script. She’s not answering questions.

    DAVIS: She’s in the process of, you know, getting to know people out on the campaign trail, and she will do interviews, but she’ll do them on the terms and conditions of which the campaign decides that it’s ready to do it.

    And, Chris, all due respect, I mean, you know, the information that the news media has been putting out on Sarah Palin is not what I would call objective journalism.

    So until at which point in time we feel like the news media is going to treat her with some level of respect and deference, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out into that kind of environment.

    WALLACE: Well, you just said that you — what a great job Fox News did with this piece last night.

    DAVIS: You did.

    WALLACE: You just praised it.

    DAVIS: Absolutely. WALLACE: My only point is there are legitimate questions to ask her, whether it’s For anybody else, about what — is she ready to be president, what does she know about foreign policy.

    DAVIS: Absolutely. No question about that. And she will be available to the news media when and if we decide that that is going to be the case.

    WALLACE: So you’re not at this point willing to say when.

    DAVIS: No.