June 8th, 2008
04:54 PM ET
4 years ago

Campaigns reject Bloomberg, ABC offer for televised town hall

Sen. John McCain has called for ten joint appearances before the Democratic Convention in August.
Sen. John McCain has called for ten joint appearances before the Democratic Convention in August.

NEW YORK (CNN) -– If presumptive presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain do hold joint town hall meetings before the political conventions, you’ll have plenty of options to watch them.

Both campaigns Sunday quickly rejected an offer by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News to hold the first such get-together as a 90-minute, prime time broadcast on ABC.

But the Obama and McCain camps said the idea of one network putting on the event is a non-starter.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, “Both campaigns indicate that any additional appearances will be open to all networks for broadcast on TV or Internet like the presidential commission debates, rather than sponsored by a single network or news organization.”

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said, "Both campaigns agree the town hall meetings will be open to press but not sponsored or moderated by the press."

The idea of the town hall style meetings was again raised on the campaign trial last week by McCain, who called for ten joint appearances before the Democratic Convention in August. He proposed the first one be held later this month at Federal Hall in New York, saying in a letter to Obama, "What a welcome change it would be were presidential candidates in our time to treat each other and the people they seek to lead with respect and courtesy as they discussed the great issues of the day, without the empty sound bites and media-filtered exchanges that dominate our elections."

He said they should be modeled on appearances President John F. Kennedy and Barry Goldwater planned on holding in the 1964 campaign, before President Kennedy’s death.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the idea would be discussed, but suggested a different format. He said, "The idea of joint town halls is appealing and one that would allow a great conversation to take place about the need to change the direction of this country… We would recommend a format that is less structured and lengthier than the McCain campaign suggests, one that more closely resembles the historic debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. But, having just secured our party's nomination, this is one of the many items we will be addressing in the coming days and look forward to discussing it with the McCain campaign."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Rj

    I was so angry when Hillary didn't win and I like many others threatened to vote for McCain. Now that I'm starting to settle down, I'm realizing how immature I was being. I'm a Democrat and will support Obama because he shares my values.

    I would like to apologize to Obama supporters for acting like a spoiled brat in some of my earlier comments.

    Now let's go get us the White House!!

    GO DEMS!!!

    June 8, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  2. No McSame

    Obama will not stand by and let McSame send our kids off to die in Iraq. No Way. Nor will he allow McSame to give us four more years of Bush. No Way.
    Those of you that are planning to vote for this war monger and really want to show your support for McSame JOIN THE ARMY. Many of you are no help anyway because you supported Hillary in MOUTH only but did not send her a dime to help her out. Don't hate on Obama because we supported him with our time and our MONEY. YOU LOST IT FOR HER. Our money was well spent.
    OBAMA08

    June 8, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. uh, huh?

    As a lifelong Democrat and Hillary supporter, I would like to be able to support Barack Obama, but his highly enthusiastic support from the radical left has me very NERVOUS; much in the same way Bush made me nervous with his support from the far right.
    Presidents who have close ties to radicals have disasterous presidencies- our current Commander in Chief-to be sure. DECEIVING Congress into an Unnecessary War????

    We have to have a President with a Cool Head who can handle and govern over all the diverse elements of our Society.

    Barack has a ways to go to convince me he has this quality; and he needs to convince a good portion of 18 million if he wants to win in November.
    I do have to agree with Rima though. The idea of a fervent OBAMA supporter who will vote for McCain if he brings HRC on the ticket is positively hilarious. They are either clueless about political issues or have major personal ones.

    June 8, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. Al - Florida

    Obama wins the primary battle and might win the election battle. One CHANGE I can guarantee will come is that the democratic party will eventually lose the political war. How you ask, cause millions like myself will eventually leave the party. The DNC simply abandoned and thrashed the Clintons just out of fear of insulting black democrats. Obama is a one time freak, 4 maybe 8 years. Do Democrats really expect blacks to show this same enthusiasm and this same level of support for future democratic candidates. I dont think that blacks will donate time and money for a spanish or white candidate in the future. The DNC will lose its white base, yep you won this time but you lost millions like me forever.

    June 8, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. Larry B.

    I don't know if any other readers have noticed, but it is very easy to tell which post come from conservative/republican voters.

    Just read the post.

    If it is a bunch of emotional ranting and raving, then it is from a conservative/republican. They are so used to ranting and raving on talk radio, that they can't help but continue it here as well.

    I don't know if Obama will make a good President or not. But I do know that he can't do any worse than the current President.

    June 8, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  6. Jnwilderness

    Seems like the latest "Sore Losers" tactics is to "Write-in" Hilllary's name as a way to indirectly have McCain win. I question whether these people are really true Democrats and Hillary supporters or Republicans, posing as Democrats, continuously stoking the fire's of discontent.

    However, if you are a Democrat and have firmly made up your mind that you will be voting for McCain, directly or indirectly, then the first thing you should do is to write yourself a letter. Yes, a letter, a good old-fashion postage type US Post Office variety, and list in it ALL the Great reasons why you gave your vote to the Republican candidate. Now you have to be honest and include the REAL reason why you did. Next, make 10 copies of it and mail them to yourself the day Before or On Election Day. When the letters arrive leave them sealed and place them in a place where you can see them, but not be in the way.

    You're asking yourself, "Why a letter?" Well, should McCain win and then you begin to complain as to why big corporations are being given more tax breaks, why the war in Iraq is still going, why the rich keep getting richer, why we keep losing more and more rights each day, why the Supreme Court is so tilted to the right, etc, etc. and how he can continue to keep Bush's policies alive during bad times.

    Well, what I can tell you is that YOU can find solace by going over to that stack of unopened letters that you sent yourself a couple of months ago. The reasons and answers to your outrage are there and they were written by you.

    June 8, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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