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. Chris from WI

    Translation: I'm getting hammered right now, let's call a time-out until I can get a good swiftboat running.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. donna

    IT IS NOT PATRIOTISM SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING AT THIS POINT THAT EITHER OF THEM CAN DO ABOUT IT, AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MOVING ON WITH THE FUTURE, WHICH IS MUCH NEEDED. SOUNDS LIKE A STALL FROM MCCAIN TO ME.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. joey from nc

    whats wrong mccain? You need some more time to cram with palin?

    WHAT A JOKE!! LESS THEN 2 MONTHS IS THE ELECTION AND THIS GUY IS CALLING FOR A DELAY BECAUSE HIM AND PALIN ARE NOT PREPARED!! HE IS USING THE ECONOMY AS AN EXCUSE!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. BJBM

    I smell a stinky CHICKEN.

    *cluck* *cluck* *cluck*

    You can put lipstick on McCain, but it will STILL be McCain!

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Mike

    What?!!

    Ironic timing being that all of the polls are breaking in Obama's favor the last couple days. McShame's running scared now. Sad.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. David in Illinois

    What a gimmick. What McCain should have done is suspend his deregulatory approach to politics about 20 years ago.

    McCain is NOT the leader on bailing us out of this mess. He got us into this mess, he and all his cronies and lobbyist friends.

    Remember the Keating Five anybody????????????????????

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Monica

    IT STARTS WITH A B AND ENDS IN A IT.

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. jane

    What a Joke! He is totally not prepared!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Vincent, Great Lakes IL

    Tomorrow is Thursday, the debate is supposed to be on Friday.

    Great timing John. This doesn't say much about your confidence does it?

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    Good move by McCain. Obama should agree, head to Washington, and lend a hand in addressing this crisis

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Dave

    LAME!

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Leslie from Garden Grove, CA

    YOU HAVE GOOOOOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. Chad

    Can you say unprepared?

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. mollygonz

    Pander, pander..no matter what McCain does, he looks disingenuous. He is desperate to turn things in his favor and thinks that looking like the bigger person, though he is not, will have people looking at him favorably. Too bad we can see right through it. Too little, too late.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. PoliticoMike

    LOL,
    Don't be fooled folks, this a sign of desperation. This is not Mavericism, he just wants to look like he's trying something.
    I hope Obama calls his bluff and wipes him clean on Friday.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Casey from Henniker, NH

    This sounds like another cheap political tactic from McCain. If Obama refuses, McCain can say, "I wanted to put my country first and he wanted to continue the campaign." If Obama goes along with it, McCain will claim that he was first to the punch and showed "real leadership" while Obama caved in under pressure.

    Don't be fooled by this stuff, people.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. annie

    This is bull. The brave thing to do is talk to the American public about the state of the world in this dire time. This is blatant political maneuvering and manipulation. The press better cry foul on this.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. DB

    He is trying to gain some capital here...this is political and not at all sincere, don't be fooled!

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Morals and Values for sale!

    Wow, McCain is really nervous. He's trying to look like a LEADER, but he always goes off Half Cocked. Leaders gotta know when to lead and when to follow.

    McCain tries too hard to be in a position of power. Sometimes, you have to sit back and see more than one angle. He's more SONNY CORLEONE. A hot head that doesn't think rational.

    Obama is more of a Michael Corleone..... sit back and looks at the entire picture and thinks before he makes a strong move.

    McCain, there is nothing that you can do until it's up for a vote. You are just going there to be there? What questions will you ask that havne't already been asked?

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. sandee in Portland

    Right! Now he's worried? I think this is just a ploy by Mr. Flip Flopper to delay a debate he's not ready to have. They could both still go to Washington to participate and fly to the debate when it is time just like they both fly to everywhere else in the US. After all, it's only a matter of a couple of hours to actually do the debate. And...if they're not ready it will show during the debate. This idea of practicing for the debate beforehand is silly. If they're ready to lead this country, they don't need to practice. They should already know the answers.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Ken

    The stock market has been up and down for the past 7 days! This is just a last minute effort to poke and prod and see what can give McCain an advantage.

    I hope this blows up in grandpa's face.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. shadowgovt

    What have you got up your sleeve, McCain? From someone who knows very little about the economy, and is currently down in the polls, and now suddenly has a change of heart? Hmm...

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. Q

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! The American people have to decide who to vote for in a little over a month, and using the curren economic crisis as a excuse to duck out of a failing campaign is out and out BS!! It is an out rage and an insult to the American people. WE ARE NOT THAT STUPID JOHN MCCAIN!!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. Sam

    So this is McCain's attempt to show leadership, seeing as he's completely bungled the past week...

    Well, Obama would be wise to do the same I suppose. McCain's intentions aren't pure with this though; he knows he's screwed up and he's attempting to box Obama into a corner to follow his lead.

    Unfortunately, Obama's been showing leadership in this situation from the beginning. Too late, McCain.

    Obama '08!

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Mark Wagner

    Look's like McCain got cold feet and knows he'll be destoryed at the debate regarding the economy and is trying to play it off as putting his country first. What a joke.

    September 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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