September 24th, 2008
03:02 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain to 'suspend campaign,' calls for first debate to be delayed

McCain is calling for the debate to be suspended.
McCain is calling for the debate to be suspended.

(CNN) - John McCain announced Wednesday he is suspending his campaign on Thursday morning and returning to Washington to work on the financial crisis. He also called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to postpone the first faceoff until Congress has completed work on a bailout package.

Watch: McCain's announcement

“Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me,” he said in New York.

“I am calling on the President to convene a leadership meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem,” he said.

Obama's campaign said that the Democratic nominee had called McCain at 8:30 Wednesday morning to ask him if he would "join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal." They also said that McCain returned the call at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement, and that the two campaigns are currently "working together on the details."

In his statement, McCain said he was directing his campaign “to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

“Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.”

The McCain campaign said the Republican nominee's scheduled appearance on David Letterman's show Wednesday evening had been canceled.

The White House praised McCain's statement. "We welcome Sen. McCain's announcement," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "We are making progress in negotiations on the financial markets rescue legislation, but we have not finished it yet. Bipartisan support from Sens. McCain and Obama would be helpful in driving to a conclusion. The financial market crisis is a big problem that requires a big solution, and solving this in a bipartisan way will help prevent economic damage spreading from Wall Street to all Americans."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (1,284 Responses)
  1. LifeLongDemocrat

    I smell a rat! Me thinks the man is not prepared!

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Ken

    This is ridiculous. The debate is about the very issues that McCain is trying to avoid. He knows that he is not ready to debate Obama, and he has found a perfect excuse. Why did he not call for this DAYS ago. Now this is going to make Obama look like the bad guy.

    Obama 08

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. SONGBIRD MCCAIN

    I guess he needs more time to cram as well.

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. doug

    well when campaiging isn't working for you...all you can do is just play politics.

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. John

    K... whats he hiding now?

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. momis

    are you kidding me... r u scared now Mac?

    September 24, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Darko

    LEADERSHIP

    Country before Party... maybe one day Barack will figure that out.

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. The BOTTOM Line.....

    WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAT!!! WHAT KINDA TRICK IS THIS? FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. just me

    it's a stunt

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Howdy

    Could it be that McSame is not ready?

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Dandelion.

    You have got to be joking.

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. John McLies

    Something is fishy here ..........................................................................

    what trap is McCain trying to set AGAIN?

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Bulldog

    BS. McCain got us into this mess with his very philosophies and now this is just another political game he is trying to play. We have a very important election going on and McCain wants to suspend it. This is not a game, McCain, this a serious election. I sure Obama calls him out.

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Mr. Righteous

    Better idea–let the debate focus be on the economy–oh, that's right–McCain said, "I do not know much about the economy."

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Count VA 2008 ... were making it Officially BLUE

    SENATOR OBAMA DON'T FALL FOR IT............................. CONTINUE THE DEBATE. CONTINUE TO TALK TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AGAIN. MCCAIN IS MELTING DOWN. THAT S WHY HE HIS SUSPENDING HIS CAMPAIGN

    September 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Diamond from Florida

    Why didn't McCain decide to cancel the debate yesterday, when he went before the press about the financial bailout? Seems like he needs more time.......

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Elizabeth in Texas

    What a ploy! You cannot have a debate for 90 minutes and you can still try to "work on the economy". What a gimmick!

    I think he is just AFRAID TO DEBATE!

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Willam from Texas

    What's the matter, isn't he ready? Perhaps he needs to take his memory pills.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Ready for Change

    About time somebody showed some leadership in this country.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Independent

    Well after about 5 days he listens to Obama's call...good for him now let's just hope the president listens and let's get this mess settled.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Steve C.

    Can you say "Stunt!"

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. McCain can care less about women

    This is a tactic. There has been a financial crisis for a while now and McCain is just using the opportunity to act Presidential. Obama, don't fall for it.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Kelby from Houston, TX

    Work on or vote on? What really stinks about this bail out is that no one in Washington has thought to bail out the American people. If you bail out the people the businesses will be fine

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. The Soccer Mom

    McCain is running scared. His poll numbers are not going up. After countless GOP members admitting Palin has not experience, Mrs Bush summed it up pretty well. McCain is scared to debate as he has nothing to say regarding the economy for the debate.

    Obama do not postpone. Let this election be fair and square. Don't jump when the Repubs say jump or sexist.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. OHIOmomforO

    That's because he is losing.

    Barack IS working on the economic crisis while campaigning. It's called stamina. Sorry, conservatives, but your candidate cannot multitask. Heck, he can't even uni-task. LOL.

    Who's trying to avoid debates now? Good grief. I'm sure you'll find a way to spin this too, Red Staters.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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