September 24th, 2008
07:08 PM ET
12 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. A.Payne

    Whats next?....suspend the election?. A civil war didnt even interrupt the election of 1864. This is transparent McCain/Rove posturing in tandem with a guest appearence by the fearmonger in chief to scare you all into giving up any hope of a future you had left. How many times will America fall for this same trick? Sounds a little familiar ie:imminent threat from WMD, patriot act NOW before terrorist kill you,
    etc....blablabla........the only thing we need to fear is the people who brought us to this sorry state. Debate NOW so people can see who is a leader. Its supposed to be up to US, Not McCain, when we get to hear discussion of the issues.

    September 24, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Candy West Virginia

    'About suspending the debates' – your beyond clueless, your just dumb. BTW, the senate is suspended on friday night so mccain won't miss anything anyway. Now spin that one.

    September 24, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. TRBoston

    Well if nothing else, this proves McCain is in favor of transparency. This pathetic trick is as transparent as they come.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Caroline

    Can someone please tell me why someone, McCain, who self-professed that he doesn't know much about the Economy is now suddenly so needed in Washington to fix the problem and nix the debates?

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Becky


    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Michigan Mom

    McCain/Palin-not ready to debate, not ready to lead!

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. kevin

    This is crazy and this is undemocratic. This does not happen in America. I want to see where these candidates stand when it comes to economy and national security before I vote. And as an American citizen- I have full right to know. McCain has no right whatsoever to postpone debates. This is for American people- not for their campaigns.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Adrienne

    What are McCain and Palin afraid of?
    Why can't Mccain get his team behind him and make it to the dabate?
    Obama has the dems behind his lead. Why is McCain so weak?
    McCain seems too old for this job. Life can't suspended in a crisis. What is wrong with Mccain?

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Gary Mason

    It appears to me that John McCain wants us to believe that he cares so much for us, that he thinks we should put campaigning aside, to go back to Washington D.C. to "do the work of the people". Please! Do politicians really think that we are that dumb? One of his advisors probably told him this would get him a bump with conservatives that are worried about our economy and that this could help him get an edge on Obama.

    I see you John McCain! And you're little dog too!

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. r conti

    I would expect if John can not make it to the debate on friday he would have Sarah debate Barak . This would demonstrate to the United States her ability to step in as president should she ever be called upon. undecided in New York

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. JJ

    COUNTRY FIRST! McCain/Palin 2008

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Craig R., Cupertino, CA

    This is just perfect. The McCain handlers are spinning this like mad to make the poor old man look as though he actually has something of consequence to contribute to the process, when in reality Washington has already left him behind.

    If he fails to take on Obama in this debate, I will knock on doors, make phone calls, send emails to every undecided voter I know to encourage them – strongly – to forget McCain completely as he is totally out of touch with the reality of the situation. Obama said it – you MUST be able to deal with multiple challenges at the same time, but McCain just CAN'T hack it.

    Truly sad to see this once proud man reduced to a political hack.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Gail

    why is McSame allowed to hold up the debates? Why is McSame allowed to hold this country in hostage like this???

    Are we going to stand for it? Ther'es no reason this is just an excuse.

    Boycot the networks people. We're not going to take this.

    He's such a clown and he's running a circus.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. Enough

    If this was such a Crisis of Impending Doom, McCain would be in Washington today. Instead, he is going to campaign today and tomorrow and then stop on Friday. So I guess this is one of those crises that you can put off for 48 hours.

    McCain's real reason for pulling this is simple; he'd get hammered in the debate. McCain is deeply involved with these economic problems; his campaign manager took borderline bribes from Freddie Mac for access to McCain, his economic advisor wrote the bill that deregulated the banking industry.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Steve Nesich

    What is McCain afraid of? Does he really expect voters to believe that somehow our country will collapse if he keeps his commitment to a two hour debate? Is this just a convenient distraction on the part of McCain so that he doesn't have to debate? Is he trying to change the subject?

    I can't help but think this is another election gimmick on the part of McCain, like picking Palin, and expecting us to believe his flimsy excuses for what are obviously political decisions on his part.

    My opinion of John McCain has changed a lot over the past few years. And not for the better.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. Illinois Blue Dog

    Are you kidding me? What a stunt.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. I Love Politics

    Do you think we are stupid John McCain? You are running scared after your numbers are slipping in the polls. Your Vice President who is certainly imcompetent will look like a "Village Idiot" standing next to Joe Biden. Next you will come up with another excuse to suspend the VP Debates.

    Why don't you suspend your campaign "Permanently" and go "Retire"

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Bryan Anderson

    That makes sense. Sarah Palin definitely needs more time to get ready.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Lorelei

    I don't understand people going on and on about Obama only caring for himself and not playing a part in the crisis and that his choice is partisan. Having both candidates in Washington during this bailout proposal brings the election circus to a place it shouldn't be right now. Niether of them have the ability to swoop in and save the day. Obama has said he will go to Washington and vote and he has also been in constant contact with the people involved not only in the actual write up of the bailout but also with those at the hearing. He's not ignoring the issue in any sense of the word. How does physical presence change anything?

    And what does this have to do with the debate? If this is what McCain thinks being a leader is all about, he should have asked to postpone the debate last week. This crisis did not just come upon us. A two hour debate will not change anything. There is more than one clock ticking which means people will have to really step up to the plate and participate in more than one thing. Obama is not choosing the campaign over the crisis, he is saying "Let's do both".

    Sadly, I think this is McCain pulling a huge political stunt. It is an effort to stop Obama's momentum, put Obama in a no win situation while he (McCain) plays the patriot card, and get a ton of press without actually having to converse with reporters. Also, if Graham's plan takes place, the next thing they say is "no debate for Biden and Palin as we've run out of time."

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. Lynn

    As an interested Canadian observer and one who has been following this election very closely, I think if John McCain has his way, he will keep Sarah Palin away from all of you Americans as long as he can. OF course you see her giving her scripted speeches at every event but do you really know who she really is, what she would sound like if representing your country on an international scale, how she can handle herself in the media, how she can take the tough questions as a potential vice president? I am personally offended as a woman that she is kept so guarded and cannot speak for herself.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. Lee Bartholomew

    Uh McCain your not president yet, you can't give orders out yet. And all these months you accused Obama of running. Think that was the final argument of yours that you threw under the bus. McScared.

    McCain has the worst voting record in Congress and suddenly he wants to vote on stuff...

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. annie - former democrat

    You obumanuts are just plain ignorant. I admire any candidate that would postpone a debate (that obumer is terrible at and never wants to do) to work on this bailout situation. Oh, that's right, obumer only knows how to vote 'present'. Does he need a teleprompter for that? He doesn't need to be there working on it, 'cause he has no ideas other than the ones he stole from McCain. Why doesn't McCain let Gov. Palin represent him in the debates – obumer would never stop stuttering and stammering for the rest of his life.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  23. Kelly CA

    Oh... VP Debate?
    WTH for?

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. Pete in OR

    Just when I thought the "leaders" of the respective parties would hold hearings and devise some kind of solution devoid of presidential politics, this stunt occurs.
    Sinking polls and Palin aside, the heroic pilot could have done his job campaigning as republican presidential and allowed the professionals (leaders, committees) to do their jobs; and then both Obama & McCain could vote as they is their duty after flying back in their respective "jets".
    It is not McCain's job to be the heroic pilot to come back to Washington and save America; and it is DISRESPECTFUL AND DISHONORABLE to any number of institutions and individuals preparing for the debate or leaders preparing for additional negotiations to be politicized and upstaged by this stunt.

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. Nannie Bouroughs

    Of couse Senator Oblama wants to debate – NOW!

    NOW that their is no one to debate!

    Having voted not ONCE, but TWICE for the Bridge to Nowhere and having flipped – flopped on every significant issue since he stole the democratic nomination, of course he wants to debate an invisible candidate!

    Empty suit, empty mind and empty change...

    September 24, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
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