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. This soccer mom can whip your hockey mom any day!!!

    UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!! Please do not use the economy as a reason to delay the debate!!!! Please stop insulting our intelligence!!! McCain needs more time to prepare...PERIOD!!! ALL SUMMER LONG, he has been running around the country basically taunting Obama to debate the issues. Now that some polls have him as much as 9 points behind Obama, and he realizes Sarah Palin was the biggest mistake since the Edsel, he wants to postpone the debate. POPPYCOCK!!!!!! I am so sick of this chicken fit out fit, and those who continue to support this ridiculous mess need mental evaluations!!!

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Kelby from Houston, TX

    now, if he would just suspend his campaign permenantly we could get started on fixing the nation's problems.

    VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS!!!
    VOTE FOR OBAMA!!!

    JUST DO IT

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Basil Whitener

    I am not a McCain supporter and can only hope that the suspension of his campaign is so that he can return to the Senate to do the job that he is currently being paid to do. I think that Obama should do the same. I am sorry to say that I think McCain is pulling a political ploy, and will only do what he thinks will aide his slowing campaign for president.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Fairly Obvious

    Yeah but Obama doesnt believe he should suspend his campaign once again mccain shows country is first and obama is still thinking Obama first

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. G. Robinson

    Way to "BAILOUT" McInsane. You know Obama will mop the floor with you if you meet him in Mississippi on Friday. You know you are not prepared to debate about this economic crisis which the Repiglacins are responsible for because of their GREED.

    On November 4, 2008 everyone around the world will hear:THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN HAS JUST BEEN NOMINATED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES - AMERICA LET'S GREET YOUR PRESIDENT – PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!! AND WE WILL BE PARTYING ALL OVER AMERICA.

    This economic crisis is just an excuse for you to "BAILOUT" Senator McInsane, if you don't face reality, it will face you.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08-12

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Hmmm. So it WASN"T McCains idea. Another grab at taking credit for Obamas ideas. What a blow hard. Oh well, either way if Obama thinks it is a good idea, then it probably is.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Nathan

    Trying to make himself look like he cares. Why would a man who admittedly knows little about the economy, think he could make a difference in a debate that doesn't involve his voice?!

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Ali

    Bull, he's been in Washington for 26 and now he is concerned to suspend his campaign? He is just in deep trouble and is scared to debate Obama, so what better excuse...what a pathetic man and campaign.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Samuel

    John McCain is toast. Looking for new ways to revamp his campaign but Obama will out smart him.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Obama 08

    McGimmick!

    Just last week the economy was fundamentally strong.

    Straight talk...if you're scared, then say you're scared!

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    John, Nice attempt, but you can't hide for long as the election is fast approaching and America needs to witness this debate. If you can't take a few hours to attend such an important event, I, for one, would question your judgment... again.
    Have the debate and take it like a man.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Debby

    Thank you President McCain a real leader.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. McCrazy

    What a scam!!! He is losing ground in the polls so he tries to one up Obama with this? How will the man who doesnt know much on the economy and thinks it is fundamentally strong help anyway. I say, Obama should not suspend his campaign. As president, you cant suspend whats going on to deal with one issue no matter how big it is.

    Sorry pal.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. La Verne Conley

    The debate TOPIC should be changed. these candidates must reveal what they know, how they will vote, and whether they understand the economy!

    we are being told these problems were the greed of people buying homes they could not afford... baloney. it was corporate fat cats running all over the average guy. they were buying multiple homes planes and influence with their ill gotten gains while we were struggling to pay for gas!

    economics is not a science and economists are too frequently politicos bringing ideology, not facts. they are expert only in their philosophy.

    September 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Flo

    THAT'S WHAT THE AMERICANS PEOPLE WHO ARE VOTING FOR MCCON CAN'T SEE. OBAMA INICIATE THE MEETING FIRST, NOW CON PORTRAYED HIMSELF AS THE ONE WHO CALLED OBAMA FIRST. OBAMA CALLED AT 8:30 AM, AND MCCON RETURNED THE AT 2:30 PM, BIG DIFFERENCE IN TIMING. STOP JUDGING OBAMA BASE ON HIS SKIN COLOR, BUT SEE HIM AS SOMEBODY WHO WILL DO A LOT OF GOOD FOR AMERICA. GOD IS WITH HIM FOR GUIDANCE, AND WISDOM, I BELIEVE HE WILL BE A GREAT LEADER FOR AMERICA, AND THE WORLD.

    OBAMA 08

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. nicksicko

    I love how these fools fun slash and burn ads about each other for millions to see, and then turn on a dime and tell their parties to work together while they smile and wave and name-drop 9/11. This whole thing is a joke.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Fritz

    The "No Talk Express" rolls on. McCain has not prepared for the debate (as he campaigned recently rather than prepare for the debate) and realizes he is in a world of trouble. He is trying to obscure this by claiming a noble act of going to help the economy. As McCain says he really does not understand the economy, will McCain really be helping the process by going back to work on the economy?

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. A Woman In California For Obama:

    Well, well. Is this an attempt to score votes? Let's see now if Obama had done this many would say "he's using politics" but since McCain is doing it-it is okay? It's now time to ask (US) the American people to pay more taxes. I thought republicans were all about fiscal responsibility. They are nothing more than tax and spend candidates. The American people no matter what will be left holding the bill. That is, of course, unless you are one of the wealthy.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Kellie

    Seriously I believe both canidates agree there is a huge economic problem for our country and that it deserves prompt attention. However, I see John McCain is still playing 'dirty' politics by trying to make it 'appear' that he is 'so' concerned right now that he will suspend his campaigning for the betterment of our country. I also believe his wanting to 'postpone' the debate is just a way of delaying having to answer hard questions that he can't answer at this time. This way it will give Sarah Palin (was that her name?) ha! more time to get herself looking good for her party!

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Spadam

    Totally a political move. He needed to take the blame of the economic crisis off of his (and other republican's) shoulders. Politicians have a reason for everything, and this clearly was a political decision to help stop his slide in the polls.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. mike

    What a farce, phones are close by.no need to delay debates.election is almost here. then let the vice presidents fill the spot and presidents debate take the vice presidents date.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. The World is Watching.

    McCain, the war hero, just tell the truth, you are afraid of the Debate.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. freddie

    Wait...wait...please clarify CNN....so Obama calls McCain this morning to talk about this and then he goes out and makes a grand announcement making it seem like it was all his idea?? Please explain...need details.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Reginald Day virginia

    This is a poorly formed gimmirk

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. mike

    Oh come on this was political,mccain was getting killed in the polls today,this guy panicked,he want the people to feel sorry for him,its not going to work,this guy will do anything to get elected,give me a break,this was all political.

    September 24, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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