September 24th, 2008
07:08 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain camp to propose postponing VP debate

(CNN) - McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday.

Graham says the McCain camp is well aware of the position of the Obama campaign and the debate commission that the debate should go on as planned - but both he and another senior McCain adviser insist the Republican nominee will not go to the debate Friday if there's no deal on the bailout.

Filed under: Extra • Presidential Debates
soundoff (1,459 Responses)
  1. Derell

    And now it's clear what this is all about. They know that putting Palin on television in a debate with Joe Biden with the whole world watching without pre-written dialogue will end any prospect of them winning in November. Since there's only one scheduled VP debate, and three scheduled POTUS debates, the VP debate needs to go on as scheduled. That's how the VP slot works in the real world. If the POTUS is not able to perform the duties of the office, then the VP steps in as second in command. This is the job that she's applying for, and this is the job interview.

    September 24, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Mark, NC

    Now we have the truth. Why not send in the VPs on Friday and let the McCain go to Washington? Palin isn't ready. What is McCain going to do in DC besides yell at people?

    September 24, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Sara

    Wow, the McCain camp is really trying to pull some crazy moves to yet again keep Sarah Pailn from the press. At first I didn't understand what McCain was doing with all this talk of postponing the presidential debate. Now it's all clear, because he wants to reschedule it for when the VP debate is supposed to be. Clearly, they are trying to keep Palin out of the spotlight for as long as possible. I hope real media attention is brought to this madness. Using a national historic crisis in such a scheme is absurd. I hope I'm not the only one that sees this connection.

    September 24, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Dave

    You cant help but laugh at how pathetic this is

    September 24, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. Billy

    This is total BS. So now we don't get to see Palin answer ANY questions??

    McCain has gone from stunt to stunt in an attempt to duck the public. Amazing how "Country First" always results in what is best for John McCain.

    September 24, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Lori

    Stop hiding McCain and Palin- this is absolutely disgraceful. Stop trying to bamboozle the American people by trying to avoid Palin from talking and McCain from debating. How can these 2 people run this country but yet they cannot do press conferences without scripts (Palin) and are avoiding debates (McCain). The GOP may talk about Obama's experience but at least he can speak to people about where he stands on issues and does not run from the media and telling the American people what he stands for. I'd rather an intelligent, informed, respected leader with less executive experience than an unintelligent, uninformed (and unable to communicate because her party fears what she will say) governor with some executive experience.

    Keep it up McCain and Palin. You're only proving how 'experienced' Palin really is.

    September 24, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. Betty

    WOW McCain will do anything to keep Palin from talking without a script. This is amazing. I guess I wouldn't want a debate with Obama either and I especially would not want Palin to debate Biden (even though they have changed the rules for her).

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Obama 08

    Wow! McCain says that the economy is strong, but now he wants to solve the crisis BEFORE the debates. I'm guessing he's nervous that he'll get killed.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Cheryl

    That's what it is – it's all a facade to save Sarah! Country first my a#$...

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. David

    This is just amazing! I mean, who do they think they're fooling? This kind of ridiculous posturing serves no one. It's just astonishing that McCain's judgment is so knee-jerk and, well, stupid. Hopefully this will open some more eyes as to how clueless this pair is!

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Middle-Aged White Lady

    No, don't think so. Time is of the essence here. The debates go on as planned – perhaps the topic for Friday is changed to economics, with foreign policy for the second debate. Both topics are extremely important, and the American people must have the opportunity to hear more than sound bites from both candidates.

    And postponing the VP debate?? Absolutely NOT! The next maneuver would be... "oh, we just don't have time" and Palin continues to be "protected" from the public she is to serve.

    We MUST have the opportunity to hear from all candidates – no excuses, no manipulations.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Chris Portland, OR

    Look at the war hero, now CHICKEN!

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. Lois in CA

    What a crock. This is bullying in the extreme. It's like a little playground brat saying "If I can't have my way, I won't play." This kind of thinking seems an act of cowardice, and yet another way for the Republican camp to avoid the real issues and hide behind so-called "principle."

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. Cam

    Now you see the real reason for wanting to cancel the first Presidential debate.

    I think this is a cheap trick and I would hope that Obama will not allow the VP debate to be cancelled or postponed.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Robbin

    ooooooooooohhhh! now i get it!!! The whole plan in the first place was to delay the unveiling of the stupidity of Palin even longer!!! ok so those undecided voters -uhhh have you decided now???? what more will it take??

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. Dumbfounded

    If they postpone the Biden/Palin debate, it will never be rescheduled.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. victor,nj


    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. Marie

    First Mc Cain wants to cancel fridays debate, and now they are considering cancelling the vice presidential debate???? Things are smelling about now, more so than before, this is so scary to think these 2 could be running this country. Lets really put country first and elect Obama. These 2 are a bad nightmare!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. Gary in Portsmouth, VA

    To be quite honest with you, I don't think John McCain is ready to debate Sen. Barack Obama. I think it was a stunt to buy Sarah Palin more time and himself as well. I want a president who can multi-task.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. Former Alaskan - Current Texan

    Sounds to me like both McCain and Palin are scared to death of the debates (as well they should be).
    I can see McCain using the excuse of "working on the bailout" since he (and Obama & Biden) are members of Congress.... but explain to me just what Sarah Plain will use for an excuse. She surely can't say she's "working on the bailout"– maybe she should just say "she wants to bail out".

    I think the debates need to go on as originally scheduled.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. Corey W

    Camp McCain know that they are in trouble and this is a stalling tactic right out of Carl Rove playbook. Now McCain is now threating not to show up for friday's debate what a "punk". He is discredit to the uniform to all former and present naval officers.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. Jon in CA


    The argument is so stupid–

    They could work in DC all week and then fly to MI in the afternoon –

    do the debate... and then fly back first thing saturday morning to work!!!

    out of the 600+ congress members, having the two of them miss Friday afternoon and evening (LIKE CONGRESS WILL EVEN BE IN SESSION AT 7 ON FRIDAY) will make NO difference.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Enough of the games McCain. I hope America can see through this sham. If McCain and Palin won't debate the issues, then they don't deserve to run the country.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Pete

    Postpone the VP debate?? Let me see, it has been easier for the media to interview top level Al Qaeda then Palin and now they want to postpone not 1 but 2 debates.

    She is not ready to debate Biden. McCain is not ready to debate Obama. This tactic to hurry to Washington and try and look as if he spearheaded bringing Dems and GOP together is a stunt and should be exposed as nothing more then grandstanding. To that end i see this strategy backfiring big time.

    September 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. sarah

    This OBVIOUSLY was the purpose all along... She's not ready. DUH.

    September 24, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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