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. JC

    I was thinking that there is no way McCain is too afraid to debate Obama. McCain is too good at debates. Turns out he is afraid of Palin debating Biden. I don't blame him. I, for one, would like all debates to go on as scheduled. Early voting has already started in several states. McCain, you have a private plane at your disposal. It can take you from Washington to Mississippi on Friday evening and back again.

    September 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Jen, Gainesville

    The McCain campaign is playing a game with the debates with two purposes.
    1. To score political point and turn his inaction, reversal, and confusion during a financial crisis into a possible gambling win.
    2. To give Palin more time for the VP debate.

    Both moves are to put his campaign first, not the country first. He is an unpredictable, unshameful gambler. He is allowed to gamble with his 7 houses, 13 cars, and his career. But he should be not allowed to gamble with the future of this great nation. Stop McCain before he gets more crazy.

    September 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    McCain just is NOT prepared to debate.

    You cannot suspend being president to fix something. He is NOT ready to be president

    September 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. OHIOmomforO

    Call the commission on debates and let them know that the Show must go On.


    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Deb, Allentown,PA

    Marie in California, McCain hasn't voted on any legislation since April. He's not on the committee hashing out the details of the bailout. What's he going to do, sit in a corner and twiddle his thumbs until they're ready to vote? Both candidates have their own jets that can get them anywhere they need to be at a moment's notice. He can certainly spare what, 4 hours to go to Ole Miss to have this debate.

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. sms

    The Republican party seems to think that the whole country is just filled with idiots...he's just proven then neither he nor Palin can take Obama & Biden on. Palin is going to have to talk one of these days!!! Not just nod her head and smile when foreign leaders compliment her on her looks!! I'd be ashamed to lump myself in with the Republican party right now...totally insipid.

    I think Obama should send McCain a bottle of really good bubbly and thank him for making this election a slam dunk for the Democratic Party...I'll even donate the money for that! 🙂

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. Donald, Canton, NC

    SHUT UP McCain!!!

    If you were so concerned about this economy you would have had your facts straight last week, as well as a realistic course of action. BUT, you haven't. Like the rest of the government responsible for this you have been asleep at the wheel uttering incoherent messages.

    Furthermore, why aren't you in Washingon now tending to this? Why wait until after a speech tomorrow? You can't have it both ways. Consulting with 'experts' is meaningless as they are the ones that sit back and let this happen.

    You are a no nothing candidate with a no where campaign, Both you and Palin.

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Larry

    Presidents are supposed to be able to multi-task at high level and to be ready for any eventualities. There is no reason why the debate cannot go on while the presidential candidates are at the same time playing leadership role in the bailout discussions. Unless of course if Sen McCain is unable to multi-task, he needs to buy time for himself and Gov. Palin to prepare for the debates, and politicise the bailout issue. If McCain and Palin are not ready for the debates, how can they be ready to run the country? If they cannot multi-task, how can they claim qualifications to run the country? Why is Sen McCain causing panic in the market?

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. David

    McCain is just trying to push Bush's plan in as is, has anybody checked to see if Bush or McCain has Haliburtonish ties and a direct financial link to the benefiting organizations, smells rotten to me~

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Enough, Lake Forest CA

    I have no doubt that McCain will be fine in the debates, but that's not why he wanted to postpone the campaigning. He's now shown us what he really fears. This was never about "bipartisanship" and "country first." This was about McCain trying to find a way to cover his running mate's lack of qualifications.

    Is there anything less presidential than being able to handle two tasks at once? Could the choice be any more clear now?

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Man Up Mac

    The difference in the debates and the "townhall meetings" is this, the debates were planned by both parties and were scheduled a long time ago. The town hall meeting was a John McCain situation, structured by him. Who would want to be a part of that?

    McCain is a coward.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    This is such an obvious political ploy. Unfortunately I'm not that confident that enough Americans will recognize it as such. George W. Shrub was elected twice. In addition to hoping to appear like a bi-partisan leader by this stunt, McCain is hoping to push back Caribou Barbie's debate until mid-October. With early voting, that is the point by which the race is determined. In my mind, McCain just continues to loose what little respect I had for him and I am ever more convinced that he is unfit to be president.

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. north of 49

    It's a dog and pony show! The US political process is becomming a joke. How does the rest of the world think of your Great Democracy?
    And you want to bring this to the rest of the uncivilized world?

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


    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Diane

    I'm listening to a McCain spokesman on MSNBC right now and he can't explain why McCain could be out campaigning all this past week and not be in Washington, but he can't make the debates. What a crock? As Obama said, a president needs to be able to handle more than one thing at a time, perhaps McCain is not up to the task.

    September 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. Melissa Cox

    Obama should be there to debate. If McCain does not show up then maybe America will wake up and see that McCain has no plan to fix this mess that the Republicans have made, nor can he defend it.

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. Montana is Obama Country

    Making a proposal of suspending the debate based on the economic bailout- is UN-PRESIDENTIAL..

    A President needs to be ready on day one..!!


    Barack Obama is ready one DAY ONE....!!


    Obama/Biden.. 2008, 2012...

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. Jay

    That's too bad, Sarah. They've already relaxed the rules for you so that you won't feel 'defensive' or 'uncomfortable.' If you can't get prepared for this on time, that's not only your problem, but our right as voters to know this. Absolutely not – show up or don't, but the debates go on as scheduled. "Leadership" in this context is defined as continuing to move our democratic system forward, regardless of the pain, struggle and circumstances that surround it. Democracy continued after 9/11. Democracy MUST continue now, or else we really don't live under such a governmental system after all. Suck it up and take your beating if you're unprepared.

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. someone from FL

    In 8 days economy went from "fundamentally strong" to situation like 9/11. And this guy wants to help aleviate this problem!! What a moron.

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. Candy West Virginia

    Why didn't John Mccain suspend his campaign on monday when this mess started, why today? Why was sarah speed dating UN leaders with you by her side instead of you hopping on a plane to washington? Why are you trying to deflect attention from the fact that you are a major cause of this problem by being a strong proponent of deregulation which caused this mess? Why can't he fly on for the vote? The session is suspended on Friday so you will be free anyway, so why won't you attend the debate? Why john, why?

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    I was wondering what the REAL REASON WAS........they are trying to dodge the Palin debate so she can do more studying.

    They are trying to pull the blinders over the American people and use the Republican's mess of the economy as an excuse.

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. TH

    No. Absolutely not. This cannot be allowed to happen.

    This woman has been shielded from public view, with the exception of one interview (and another on the way with Katie Couric) in which her performance was miserable.

    If this is allowed to transpire, and McCain wins, I am staying indoors the night of the election. There will be violence.

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. the other jd

    Paris?!?!? Is that you Miss Hilton?

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. How in the Hell

    How in the Hell can McCain add any advice or solutions to the crisis when he help create it and it's been said they are not needed in Washington. Just another ploy to buy more time and Obama is right that a President should be able to do more than one thing at a time.

    OBAMA 08

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. pcc

    Here goes another back paddling for McCain. This is really showing signs of someone tucking his tail and running for the desert

    September 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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