September 29th, 2008
02:22 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain defends campaign suspension

Sen. John McCain defended his decision to suspend his campaign Monday.
Sen. John McCain defended his decision to suspend his campaign Monday.

(CNN) – John McCain defended his decision to suspend his campaign last week to be on hand as Congress hammered out the details of the financial bailout plan that failed in a House vote Monday afternoon, telling an Ohio crowd that he left the campaign trail because he did not want to “simply phone it in.”

“I know that many of you have noticed, but it’s not my style to simply ‘phone it in.’ I am a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. I believe our leaders belong ‘in the arena’ when our country faces a challenge,” said the Republican nominee. “I’ve never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I’m not going to stop now."

Over the weekend, both McCain and major supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham used similar language in describing the reason for his choice. “John didn’t phone this one in,” Graham told Fox News. “You can’t phone something like this in. Thank God John came back.”

Democrats responded by pointing to comments from top McCain advisor Mark Salter, who said that McCain had decided to spend his time at home or at his campaign headquarters instead of visiting Capitol Hill during marathon negotiations over the bailout bill over the weekend because “he’s calling members on both sides, talking to people in the administration, helping out as he can. …He can effectively do what he needs to do by phone,” said Salter.

McCain also told the crowd Monday that he “went to Washington last week to make sure that the taxpayers of Ohio and across this great country were not left footing the bill for mistakes made on Wall Street and evil and greed in Washington," and that that Barack Obama had been “watching from the sidelines” as the country faces a growing financial crisis.

“At first he didn’t want to get involved. Then he was ‘monitoring the situation,’” said the Arizona senator. “And watching from the sidelines is exactly what got us into this mess. It was the lack of accountability and oversight that put your working families tax dollars on the line,” he said, repeating his charge that Obama had supported tax increases on the middle class.

“A vote for Barack Obama will leave this country at risk during one of the most severe challenges to America’s economy since the Great Depression. You see, when it comes to growing the economy and protecting you from the corruption of Wall Street and Washington, Senator Obama just doesn’t get it.”

The Obama campaign responded with another statement that again made an issue of McCain’s demeanor. "Senator McCain’s angry diatribe today won’t make up for his erratic response to the greatest financial crisis of our time. John McCain knows that the budget he's talking about didn’t end up raising taxes on a single American,” said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.


Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. Get Real

    Einstein said –
    Problems can not be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

    My fellow Americans the problem that created this mess was partisianship. Until our leaders quit trying to tow the party line... we will not solve these critical issues our nation faces.

    McLiar and SP are desparate.

    i live in SW Virginia and I just registered 35 people this weekend.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 29, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Why is anyone allowing him to say he suspended his campaign!! He stopped nothing. The only thing his "suspension" netted was an angry David Letterman.

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. TKW- New Mexico

    This is such a fluke. Can someone please tell me when John McCain suspended his campaign? I saw an ad about the debate being won before it began on Thursday night. Sarah Palin had an interview with Katie Couric. Is this not campaigning? I thought putting out ads and debating was campaigning. McLie ought to be ashamed of his lying self!

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Nick - Arlington, VA

    He claimed victory for a bill...there was even an ad running here in VA about him making the bill happen and it didnt....good job mccain and washington in general.

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. A Student

    mccain has no answers. he is an extension of dr. evil (bush) and mr. bigelsworth (cheney). screw him. vote obama.

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Susie

    McCain went to Washington and then made his phone calls. What's the diff where he was calling from?

    But most important, in the end he failed to deliver the votes for his party. So whatever he did was a failure anyway.

    And the whole "campaign suspension" was a lie anyway ... yes he went to D.C., but he didn't cancel most appearances, nor did he stop his ads or attacks.

    With McCain it's all about spin, not substance.

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. ALLAN USA

    OBAMA LOVERS? TELL ME WHAT GOOD ABOUT OBAMA.? JUST BLA BLA BLA AND EMPTY PROMISES.THE MAN IS SALESMAN AND CROOK.

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Newsflash! Putin Invades Alaska's Airspace Between Palin's Ears

    Nice work McCain!

    September 29, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. TESAP;SAVANNAH, GA

    WHY....HE SUSPENDED TO RUSH TO WASHINGTON..AFTER HE HAD DINNER, INTERVIEWED WITH COURIC, WENT TO A PLAY, ATE ATE AT A DINER.....WENT TO AN ALL NIGHT RAVE..............ETC...

    OH BOO......WHO IS HE FOOLING........

    September 29, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Alex

    mccain!!! and republiucans, u caused this!!! war!! war... no regulations... u screwed it up!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. GEEZER/GIDGET '08 GIMMICK FIRST/COUNTRY SECOND!

    Well we are so glad you fixed this one MCMORON!!!!

    What happen to all that bi-partinsanship!

    You are a small, stupid, moronic, pathetic old man whining like a 2 year old.

    Looks like the shiny armour is rusty and the horse was black.

    I hope you never see the inside of the Oval Office even as a visitor, com 11/5!

    September 29, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Wayne

    McCain proclaimed 8 days ago that the economy is in great shape.

    Hey you repubs? Whas your glorious leader lieing again??????

    September 29, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Barney

    It's all the democrats fault.

    Look, I started the deregulation in 1987 with Keating 5 – now they want to mess it up !

    It's all Obama's fault.

    I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

    September 29, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. kobs

    Correct me if I am wrong ! Did I hear that even the republicans have refused to bailout MCcain ?!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. NoMccainNoPalin

    I always preferred comedy Vs tragedy in movies, but this Mccain Palin comedy is just too much now. Lets get serious. Vote Obama!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Glenn in California

    Excellent judgment to suspend his campaign, only it should have been permanent.

    Thanks, but no thanks, to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    Go Obama/Biden!!!

    September 29, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. David E

    But he "hopes" to vote on Wednesday's Senate vote of the bailout package. He "hopes".

    September 29, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    So Senator McCain....Where were you today?

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Jorge

    If McCain were a true aficionado of Theodore Roosevelt, he would know that he did not like to be called "Teddy" and that, after he retired from being POTUS he preferred to be called "Col. Roosevelt."

    He also didn't have much use for big corporations that didn't act in the public interest.

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. John

    McCain is worthless and so are all repugs, We are about to have a revolution and take our country back from them by any mean. Stand up people let us not take this lying down. They have been walking over us for years, they are the ones ruining our country, they know they are going to lose power, they are staging all this to try and hold on. We must unite and defeat the reds, they couldn't even side with their own president because they don't care what is right, the care about staying in power and that is all they care about. down with repubs blue revolution, take our county back, it is our county.

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Amanda

    Like David Letterman said; someone is mixing something in his drink.an old liar say anything to win the vote. well newsflash mcinsane, it's not going to work cos americans are smarter than that, our president made sure of that. l don't see anyone willing to risk another four more years of the same with you old man. First he said he would not take credit now he's trumpeting what he didn't partake in. Do you really think we'll buy that line john? unless of course those of the same mind set as you. MCLAIR!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. AdamW

    Sure McLame. You are all about stunts, repeating the same nonsense over and over saying nothing of substance.

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Why should Sen McCain defended his decision to suspend his campaign. It didn't do any good or save the bailout but it was his choice so live with it. Maybe he wanted to look like john wayne leading the calvary to victory.Go Obama/Biden

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Alan

    I guess with the latest bailout failure it's time to suspend the campaign again, McCain. Right? Or, have you changed your mind about how important you think this is? Did everyone see right through your failed political stunt?

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Greg

    Sen. Lindsey Graham “John didn’t phone this one in,” Graham told Fox News. “You can’t phone something like this in. Thank God John came back.”

    Yes...Thank God! He really did such a great job of making sure this all went smoothly.

    (and point in fact...on Saturday he did phone it in. Just because the phone he used is closer to DC than Obama's doesn't alter that fact)

    September 29, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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