June 10th, 2008
12:53 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain pushes for town hall debates

CNN

Watch McCain's comments Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – John McCain continued his push for regular town hall-style debates with rival Barack Obama, raising the challenge again Tuesday as his campaign calls for as many as 10 face-offs this summer.

“As you know it has begun in earnest as you may have heard, Senator Obama and I might well be meeting soon in a series of town hall discussions,” McCain told business leaders gathered in the nation’s capital for the National Small Business Summit.

“Just the two of us, in direct conversation with voters. No need to turn it into a big media-run production with process questions from reporters, a spin room, and all the rest of it. Just to keep things friendly, I also suggested that my opponent and I travel to these town hall meetings together in the same plane. I promise not to try and fly it,” joked the Arizona senator. McCain, a naval aviator during the Vietnam War, was shot down and held captive for years.

“…We need the town hall meeting,” he added. “Let’s stop yelling at each other and let’s stop having sound bites and process questions and those things. The American people want a respectful and civilized discussion.”

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee is proposing ten town hall meetings - one each week between now and the Democratic Convention in late August. McCain proposes having a few hundred people at each, chosen by a non-partisan organization.

Shortly after McCain issued his latest challenge, Obama said he was on board – but that his involvement might fall short of the weekly meetings McCain has suggested.

“It's not realistic probably to do 10, given all the campaigning that I have to do since we just finished our primary season,” the Illinois senator told reporters in St. Louis, Missouri. “So it will probably be somewhat fewer than 10, but more than the 3 that have already been agreed to, and we’ll probably propose a mix of formats.”

The three that Obama referred to are the three debates this autumn announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Suziku

    And we care what mcbush wants WHY?!!

    June 10, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Viva Obama/Clinton 08

    No to town hall meeting let us hit the campaign trail.
    A Vote for Barrack Obama is a vote for Hillary Clinton because they support the same cause.
    A vote for John McCain is a vote for a George Bush third terms more wars, bad economy and more country will not want to deal with our country. If you were really a true Hillary supporter that want a better America for this generation and the future generation you must vote Democratic this November. Please do yourself a good favor and vote for the Democratic nominee this coming November.
    No hard feeling because Hillary has none against Barrack. We must put the Republican out of the white house.
    As you can see, we are in a big recession and that will get worse with a John McCain.
    I want to tell John McCain that gas tax holiday is not a solution for our energy problem and is not going to be a solution. This gas tax holiday shows that John McCain do not understand the economy. Keating 5 john McCain took money from the Keating five for political favor.

    June 10, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Carol

    Mmmmm!!! McCain's pushing for debates also. Sounds familiar -- a strategy that got Hillary nowhere. However, since the barrel is COMPLETELY hollow -- I guess McCain has to try something.

    June 10, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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