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. Sue

    Obama better just show up on Friday, whatever the Republicans "say" - can't you see McCain showing up after saying it's cancelled, then claiming "Obama is too scared to debate me?"

    It is outrageous that McCain is using the Economic Crisis to attempt to run an end-game around Obama. Plus this is another way for him to delay the American People to get a real good dose of unscripted Sarah Palin, BEFORE some vote early! WE WANT THE DEBATES! WE WANT *ALL* THE DEBATES, NO RESCHEDULING!

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Charlotte

    The job, they both are being paid by taxpayers to do, is attend this very important issue before the Senate and House. I know Obama doesn't want to vote on anything until he gets a feel of what the polls show. What a joke, one of the most important votes and Obama will not be in on the discussions? I admire McCains dedication to duty. I think the full Senate and the full House should vote on this issue, none should be absent. Obama has not been in the Senate for over 2 years, did his pay stop? Did any of them stop their pay? Biden is even running for re-election as a Senator as well as VP, they all need to do their day jobs.

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. Caroll

    Go ahead John and show these less responsible people how the country should come first. We are in a crisis. Obama just wants more photos of himself talking in circles. Run the country first like John McCain says. Don't give Obama any more excuses than he already has taken for putting himself first.

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Joshua College Station Texas

    This is a bait-and-switch by the McCain campaign to later on be able to cancel the VP debate ("oh no, there isn't enough time!") so Palin doesn't have to appear before the American public and end up losing as she inevitably will, and also a tactical maneuver to both make McCain appear strong during this economic crisis and also to buy him time in preparing for the debate. I hope the American people are keen enough to see what is going on here, and respond by voting for the dependable, prepared, and transparent candidate instead of the manipulating, conniving, secretive one.

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. Rob

    Let me see if I get this timing right? First the fundamentals of the economy are strong, then its oh I was talking about the American Worker. Uh huh. Then nothing substantive comes out of McCain until last Friday. Now a poll comes out this morning and SHAZZAM all of a sudden McCain – who has not voted on a roll call since April and freely admits to being not the brightest bulb on economic issues – all of a sudden has some Buffetesque wisdom to impart in Washington. Oh and for good measure lets postpone not just the first Presidential debate – but hey also the VP debate until some mythical future date. Bi-partisanship? What a laugh. The proposal has split Washington down the middle thereby ensuring nothing gets done – Excellent job Senator – try to cover your plummeting polling numbers and inject partisan politics into the middle of this thing in one fell swoop. If this weren't so transparent it would be laughable. Except this is not a laughing matter, the stakes could not be higher for our country. Senator, do yourself a favor and quit trying to protect your ill advised choice for VP and just get Romney on the ticket already and get on with it. Profile on courage – paaah.

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. Kate Fergus

    McCain sees himself down in the polls and is using this as a ploy to show he is a maverick who can get things done. He is politicizing this issue and pandering to the public. The financial crisis was caused by McCain and the republicans who chose to deregulate the markets. Now he wants to swoop in in one of his 13 cars and supposedly save the day!! Give me a break. Anyone who doesn't believe this is a ploy by the republicans to boost McCain is blind and deaf.

    The Republicans really need to stop holding the presidential campaign hostage so they can boost their numbers and divert the attention on who is to blame for this fiasco. It is unconscionable that they would do this.

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

    MEP, you asked "What isn't he capable of?"

    I have an answer for you................Leading this country!

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Nuffsaid

    And of course, what are we talking about now instead of the economic crisis? . . . McCain's campaign suspension. That man will do anything to distract us from hole this nation is in.


    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. stein

    I thought the fundamentals of the economy were strong

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  10. Jon

    What's next i know let move out the election until Feb. 09 . Maybe they can come up will more reasons by then why McCain/Palin should be in the Whitehouse, I was for John in 2000 but he has lost my vote a long time ago.

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. David

    BOY, THAT LOOKS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. ohio

    even if McCain thinks he need to postpone the presidential debate there is absolutely no reason the vice presidential debate needs to be postponed.... put some lipstick on her and send her to her slaughter...
    Tell McCain and Sarah "THANKS BUT NO THANKS"

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Louise

    McCain exits stage left. Romney enters.

    Palin exits North to Alaska. Replaced with cardboard paper doll until suitable replacement found.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. Patty, CA

    Ahhh, now we get to the real goal behind the bluster.....

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Che-3

    It's college FINAL EXAMS and you if claim to be leader you ought to be READT and be multi-tasking than trying to put up an old dirty tricks from corn sack. A cowardly act by so-called micky mouse hero.

    This is FREEDOM of SPEACH ... CNN.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Dave

    Postpone, no way if anything you should push things up to get Bush out of the White House ASAP, he has been an absolute nightmare in all areas.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |

    BIG CORPORATIONS can start a "rescue fund" in lieu of a Bailout!
    Start with WAL Mart who makes Billions a Month!. Then down the line.
    Contributions from the weathy, and the Corportations should get
    the US. Government out of Debt. real quick, especially when they
    do not even want to pay more taxes, actually the same amount of
    taxes they paid in the Clinton years.

    Us, they want us to bail them out and then they want our entitlements,
    our kids for war, and our souls. NO BAILOUT!!!! NO.

    Believe me, this is exactly what will happen with a Bailout. We owe
    with our S.S. entitlements, and they won't even have enough to take
    care of our Soldiers!

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. Elizabeth Hare

    Sounds to me like they are buying time for Palin, and using the economy as an excuse. We need to see her showing us what she's got and we need to see it now.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Nemesio Soto

    How convienent. This is just another way of keeping Palin out of the public eye and preventing her from answering impromtu questions.

    Now I understand McCain's strategy, this is just a political act.

    He has no honor. He should be ashamed of himself and his win at all cost actitude.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. Peter B.

    McCain is running away from debating issues with Obama. At first blush it might sound noble, but think it through. The idea that these two out of 100 senators and over 500 representatives, are so crucial to the development of the bail out plan that the debate cannot go forward is absurd. Will McCain suspend his campaign every time an emergency comes up. IT is much more important that he focuses on the campaign.

    A campaign is not frivolous. The purpose of a campaign is to provide the American people with an opportunity to understand a candidate's policies and vet that person for the highest position in the land. Avoiding that process is to avoid explaining to the American people where you stand. It avoids providing voters with the opporutnity to develop an informed perspective about whether you are fit to lead this country. Debates in particular are extremely helpful in getting past a candidate's rhetoric and carefully crafted statements and advertisements, and are a key method for enabling us to evaluate the candidate. That is not frivolous at all; it is in fact extremely important.

    What further troubles me is that a pattern is clearly emerging with the McCain campaign. It is deliberately avoiding any opportunity for their candidates to be questioned and tested on their positions. The debacle the other day where Gov. Palin cynically attempted to use the media [the very same media the Republicans have continuously lambasted] to display images of her meetings with foreign leaders while avoiding any attempts to be questioned is a clear example of that pattern. I interpret this latest decision to avoid the debate - which would incidentally cause Palin's debate to be rescheduled - as another example.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. ~prabsi...

    May be McCain felt that the "bailout crisis" will not bail him out of the debate with Obama...

    Here comes McCain who bailed himself out of it... Pathetic

    True Leaders don't run away from obligations. Pathetic politics and limelight-hogging at its worst..

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. TonyinKentucky

    Can Obama and Biden run against each other, because they are the only candidates of Presidential caliber on the ticket.

    McCain/Palin don't have the right stuff and have wasted the American People's time over the course of this campaign. Politics aside, some people just aren't up to the position and the Republicans gave us a ticket with NEITHER candidate up to the task, day one or day one thousand.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. C F

    Of Course, McCain would like to postpone the debate. Early voting begins in 24 (?) states across the country in October. In a debate, McCain risks exposure as bellicose, impulsive, and short-tempered.

    Furthermore, if he can postpone his debate, it might occasion postponement or even the cancellation the VP debate.

    While Paulson is asking the American public to blindly give over $700 billion before the ramifications can be examined, similarly, McCain would love to be elected before his deficiencies in knowledge, judgment and temperament – and those of Sarah Palin – are exposed.

    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. SM


    September 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Jim - Arkansas

    So I guess Obama plans to vote "not present" on this $700 billion piece of legislation?

    September 24, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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