Still, the timing was interesting, particularly as Ronald Reagan was touting a "secret plan" to release the hostages. Jimmy Carter, while campaigning in Texas, brought up that point to a crowd in Waco.
Jimmy Carter: “Do you remember when Richard Nixon said, just before the election in 1968 that he had a secret plan to win the war in Vietnam? You all remember that? Now how many of you, how many of you Texans with sound judgment, familiar with history, believe that Ronald Reagan has a secret plan to get the hostages back?”
Reagan downplayed the whole thing while having his running mate George Bush, act as attack dog.
Here is a sampling of news surrounding the event from 8:00 am the morning of the 22nd to 11:00 pm, going from optimism to downplay as the day wore on.