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. Eric

    How about you frame the debate about the economy instead?

    People are casting ballots already in some states. Delaying the debate simply isn't appropriate.

    September 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Hillary Supporter for McCain/Palin

    Good or you will leave me no choice but to vote for Obama & Biden (no bail out).

    September 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Robert

    If McCain cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, then he is not fit to be President. He can go to the Senate and then fly to meet his responsibilities.

    September 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Nico

    Are the Republicans so scared that they have to delay the debate until they're in a better place poll-wise?

    September 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Ric from NM

    The government has $700Billion to give out? Give $2500 to every American taxpayer, including dependents. Some will use it to pay their mortages, some will pay their credit cards, some will go shopping, and others will "invest" in Wall Street. Don't give this money directly to Wall Street.

    September 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Biff Biffington

    soooo

    he can't debate AND focus on the economy specifics at the same time???

    not a 'multi-tasker' , i take it....

    i thought a president would need to handle SEVERAL issues per day.

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Cathy

    This latest ploy by John McCain is so lame I can't beieve it. Of course he wants to put off the debate!

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Wow! McCain is pulling out all the stops on this one! He is playing the leadership game and at the same time getting out of a debate that he wasn't prepared for. With all the recent blows to his campaign I think most voters will see this for what it is .... his last chance to fool voters in thinking that he cares for the little guy

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Spencer from VA

    Why must he join McCain? I'm sure that whatever Sen. Obama's vote is on the financial crisis, it's not going to express the same views as McCain's. McCain is trying to use this as a political blunder. He's not suspending his campaign. I'm pretty sure Karl Rove told him to "invite" Sen. Obama along to make it look like McLame is the leader.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. brownie

    and take Sarah wih you so she can get to see the White House from her hotel room.

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Will from NYC

    WHERE ARE SARAH PALIN'S TAX RETURNS? WHERE ARE SARAH PALIN'S AND JOHN MCCAIN'S MEDICAL RECORDS....

    simple vetting stuff.... CNN do your job.

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Lynnette

    It's over for McCain. Hello President Obama.

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. jos-bam

    Republicans should fix the problem by themselves ....Obama is no way responsible of this crisis....
    The campaigns should continue ...America needs a new president to fix tis probem...what McCain is doing is just political tactics...That is not love fhe country......lol.lol...lol...lol......lol.lol...lol...lol......lol

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. ujw, ny

    All McCain is doing is the same thing he's done with Palin, EVADE the issues. This is a political ploy at it's lowest!

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Micheal shoemac

    This is a political STUNT

    McCain is a Joke

    This is a Stunt

    Wow

    I am so pissed the F . . . off

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    old and senile and doesn't have a clue..... his choice of Troopergate Palin after one meeting pretty much says it all....

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. average joe

    I think we should redo the entire primary the best candidate was bushwacked by Howard Dean and Obama. these Liberals will put the final nail in our coffin.

    Obama needs more experience,he talks but what has he done?

    oh yeah he gamed the primary.

    2012 the real candidate ;-)

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. JBP

    McCAIN IS NOSE-DIVING IN THE POLLS – he is trying to do anything to get back on offense. He will beat his chest saying "I took the initiative to put my country first, Sen. Obama did not" – like he always does. McCain will do ANYTHING to win.

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Todd

    Mccain need as much time as possible to "cram" for these debates.
    Obama should not give in to this request because it makes it look like McCain is controlling what's going on. ON WITH THE DEBATES THIS FRIDAY. I'm looking forward to Obama making McCain look foolish for the first time in front of the whole country!!

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Lynn, FL

    Can't wait for all the liberals to accuse him of doing this because they think he is afraid to debate Obama. They'll only want bipartisan work if they are the ones who think of it. Obama has a great chance here to prove he can work across the aisle. Will he take it, or will he choose to politicize this and put himself before his country, as usual?

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. WOW

    BLAH!! I was ready to see the debate!! So unfair .. But I think our economy right now is more important than a debate.

    Obama/Biden

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Do you think he's afraid to debate Obama...............that's how it sounds !!!! A two hour Debate will not affect this mess. Now McCain has a sense of urgancy when only 10 days ago he told us that the Economy was Basically Stong??? What's it gonna be....you crazy MAVERICK ???? Send Palin out to the Press / GIVE US THE Debate !!

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Republican voting for Obama/Biden

    I understood Congress should have an answer towards the end of the week. McCain is not ready for the debate. The whole country knows Palin is not ready. They could suspend campaigning and still have the debate on Friday. Next I guess McCain will want to change the election date. Always games wit McCain.

    McCain, Carley Fiorina and all his friends are the ones that caused this crisis. The American People are paying the price.

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. TIRED OF THE GOP

    CAN YOU SAY I'M NOT READY ANY MORE CLEAR THAN THAT? RICK DAVIS, PALIN NY TRIP, WHAT'S GOING ON IS HE'S NOT READY AND SEE'S THAT HIS CLOCK IS GOING TO GET CLEANED.

    OH COURSE HE WANTS TO STOP THE TIDE TURNING BUT IT'S TOO LITTLE TO LATE NOW. EVEN GEORGE WILL IS SAYING THINGS HE'S NOT RIGHT.. COME ON IT'S OVER BETTER SUSPEND THIS WEAK CAMPAIGN BECAUSE HE IS IN WAY OVER HIS HEAD.

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Brian

    "My dog ate my homework."

    McCain... you are a joke!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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