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. JEAN

    WHAT KIND OF GAME IS HE PLAYING NOW? ISN'T THIS THE MAN WHO SAID, LAST WEEK, THAT THE FUNDAMENTALS OF OUR ECONOMY ARE STRONG? TALK ABOUT A FLIP-FLOPPER!

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. JohnJon

    John McCain said, 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 also called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to postpone the first faceoff until Congress has completed work on a bailout package. I don't think there would be much difference in what is going to happen with the current adminstration and Congress by your presence in Washington. I think thsi is another stall tactic by the republicans because they know the debates are just 2 days off. Don't fall for John McCains phoney concerns about anyone but himself. This will be solved in Washington alright, but Obama and McCain will hardly make a difference by being there.McCain needs more time to get his Poodle educated on Washington and also foreign and domestic matters.

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. N. Ramos - Plano Texas

    It is not enough that Palin refuses to answer questions or answer subpoenas, now McCain is avoiding the wrath of the American voters when he asked about Phil Gramm and Black. It is very obvious that McCain was not ready for the debate on Friday. This is just one more diversion to keep from giving some serious answers to the American electorate. Senator McCain has no shame!

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Lori Robbins

    This is another ploy by the McCain camp to avoid the media. We the voters need these debates to help us in deciding who the next leader of our country will be. I understand the economy crisis is a crisis, however, McCain is going to have to learn to multi-task like the rest of us.

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Khalid

    What a joke. How is this in any ways comparable to the September 11 attacks? Pure politics.

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Janeen

    This is more Mccain Bushcrap!
    There is no reason for the debate to be postponed!
    This is more Mccain antics to draw attention away from the Democratic process.

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Lola

    McShame this is a cheap ploy and it will not work! The debates must go oooooooooonnn!!! Stop pretending like you care, you've been in washington for 26 years and you have never done anything to help mr. deregulator. Stop pretending. ENOUGH!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. gpenn FL

    McCain is a clown. He is one gimmick after another. First Palin and now this. Is he that afraid of the debate or has the new polling numbers scared him?

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. R. Cooper

    Let McCain suspend his campaign! This is a tactic only to allow them more time to give Sarah a crash course in foreign policy! McCain will also lose the debate on Friday! It's a stall tactic! He just left one meeting bashing Obama! Now he is trying to set him up! Obama has momentum now and this is simply an attempt to derail him! This is what I mean when I say the GOP really thinks that absolutely every one is stupid except the crooks in his campaign! Let McCain suspend his campaign to save his wife's fortune! Obama's not married to Cindy, McCain is. We are not falling this bull!!!!! FORGET IT!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. r sisk, nevada

    Oh give me a break! This "financial crisis" has been going on for some time and McCain has been a huge part of the cause. DEREGULATION.

    He's running scared that Obama will call him on this so he's looking for a way out. Of course, the GOP will praise him for "saving the day" or some other lie.

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Kim in AZ

    How convenient. Sounds like he's running scared to me and is looking for a reprieve to figure out how to fix his disaster of a campaign.

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Let it be known. It was Barack Obama who called McCain @ 8:30 this morning to ask that they would both put out a joint statement, put politics aside, and return to washington to help with the problem.

    Barack did NOT make this public because he wanted this to be nonpartisan.

    John McCain instead, jumped the gun (like he does everthing else in his life) to make it look like it was his idea.

    Barack: Thoughtful, Careful

    McCain: No Honor, Lier

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Tell the TRUTH Obama

    Sounds like a leader to me.

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain can run but he can't hide because I'm sure the FEDs are investigating his involvement in the failure of Silver Bank where his son Andrew McCain was CEO. Sounds like McCain aka Keating 5 all over again.

    September 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. tara

    This has got to be a joke right?!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. probama in paradise

    whaaaaat?????
    Methinks he's panicking...that's weird!

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Preshal

    I feel McCain is delaying the debate because he is aware of that it will not help his campaign and this will give him time to adjust his campaign to be more effective...I see Presidential debate being postponed and Palin-Biden debate being 're-scheduled' for November 5, 2008

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. PETRA BARTHOL

    McCain is scared. The sky is not falling down today. We the people have not had a chance to see in a debate setting which of the candidate would be better at leading in time of war. We are in WarTime right now, and this debate is essential for the people to analyze the candidate foreign policy views. LET'S DEBATE!! The debate will only last a couple of hours!! Thereafter, you can go to Washington. WHAT A SOUR SPORT! DEBATE MCCAIN, DEBATE MCCAIN.

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Molly

    He's behind in the polls, he's been caught lying, he's about to get creamed in a debate . . . who can blame him for wanting to suspend the campaign?

    Nice try . . .

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. David

    I'm sorry, but that's not acceptable. Yes, there's a crisis, but the election will still take place on Nov. 4, and the American people need more information about the candidates. The President is the one who should cancel any vacations or debates – he may be a lame duck, but he's still the one who has the job and the responsibility that goes with it. And frankly, one thing that will help the markets settle is the election of the President – uncertainty before an election always increases volatility. Get on with it McCain.

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Elizabeth Ratigan

    There is no need to postpone the Presidential Debates. There are a number of people working on this issue and the candidates are not needed.

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Dennis Lee Hoffman, citizen of the world

    I don't know about all y'all, but I think the debate is probably pretty important for us to see right now... getting a little nervous, McCain?

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. mama4obama

    So...it was actually Obama who suggested that they take some time to address the prominent issue on Wall Street and McCains response was to "suspend" his campaign for that reason?

    That is what I'm getting out of this.

    Correct me if I'm wrong please.

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Darlene

    Please don't postpone the debate. Now more than ever we need to see both candidates, and know where they stand on the important issues. If they both are ready to be president of this country they should be able to spend 2 hours explaining their positions on foreign policy, and any other discussions that are to take place on Friday.

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Franky

    I'm sorry but this deal, is gonna take quite a bit to take care of it. Is not gonna take 1 day or 2, it can take up to a week or more!! Details are still being planned out!! For crying out loud, Dems and Reps are working together. Don't tell me all of a sudden this will be wroked out...I say, forget the election! We might as well live our lives...

    September 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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