September 24th, 2008
03:02 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain to 'suspend campaign,' calls for first debate to be delayed

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain is calling for the debate to be suspended."](CNN) - John McCain announced Wednesday he is suspending his campaign on Thursday morning and returning to Washington to work on the financial crisis. He also called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to postpone the first faceoff until Congress has completed work on a bailout package.

Watch: McCain's announcement

“Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me,” he said in New York.

“I am calling on the President to convene a leadership meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem,” he said.

Obama's campaign said that the Democratic nominee had called McCain at 8:30 Wednesday morning to ask him if he would "join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal." They also said that McCain returned the call at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement, and that the two campaigns are currently "working together on the details."

In his statement, McCain said he was directing his campaign “to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

“Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.”

The McCain campaign said the Republican nominee's scheduled appearance on David Letterman's show Wednesday evening had been canceled.

The White House praised McCain's statement. "We welcome Sen. McCain's announcement," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "We are making progress in negotiations on the financial markets rescue legislation, but we have not finished it yet. Bipartisan support from Sens. McCain and Obama would be helpful in driving to a conclusion. The financial market crisis is a big problem that requires a big solution, and solving this in a bipartisan way will help prevent economic damage spreading from Wall Street to all Americans."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (1,284 Responses)
  1. drone

    Well Played McCrook... Delay the debate, of which your most likely not prepared, to say that you want to work on the finance crisis and economy of which you nothing about in an attempt to show America that you care about us more than you care about winning....

    Just like the Georgia fiasco, this couldnt come at a better time for you to show your FAKE leadership... I must admit, if we were playing chess, I would say this was a good move... Put your opponent in a position that you can predict his next move, whilst all the while you have your own agenda...Smokes and Screens...

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Steve (VA)

    What's McCain up to? I'm sure his advisers told him that he losing ground quickly on the economy issues and needed to make an impact move (just like his pick of Palin).

    IMHO, I think that McCain just wasn't ready for the debate which looms large in swing voters opioion and used the economy as a way to stall.

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Jennifer Allen

    Today, as a result of being a Hurricane Ike evacuee, My husband and I had to borrow money, the interest during our time of "crisis" was 40%. If this bailout happens and us the taxpayers are not loaning, but giving money to million/billionaires in their time of "crisis" shouldn't they face the same predatory lending practices that many Americans have to endure? "You reap what you sew." Seven hundred billion, sure they can have it at 40%.

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Patty

    Hmmm He's behind in the polls, he needs something to boost his numbers. Don't be fooled by his "concern". This is a political move for sure.

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Jerry in Boston

    What an absolutely outrageous and calculated STUNT. I'm completely lost for words. McCain will literally do ANYTHING to win. He's in panic mode.

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Nathan

    It will take some honest and vigorous debate to sort out the bailout plan. Parts of the plan will have to do with foreign investors. Foreign policy includes economic and financial policy. It would have been good to hear the two candidates on these issues. The crisis makes the debate and the campaigns even more important. However, after the exposure of McCain's campaign manager, the Senator's reluctance is understandable.

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Eddie

    Same old Same McCain, Pretend to make this crisis your biggest concem and convince the american peolple that you care less about your campaign, i see right through you! nothin but tactics tio sway voters, now he wants baracks campaign halted in his mess, i want to see the debate, they trying to save more time and avoid the debate, no chance john

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    Wow another shoot first moment from McCain. Just like he picked Palin. Go to Washington when its time to vote. Don't stop the debate.

    September 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. McCain is flailing

    Nice spin, McLie.

    Fixing the economy is a job for people IN power, not for people who want power. Its a job for the President.

    How slimy can you be? He knows he's going to be torched in the debates and is using the crash as an excuse.

    Just show up on Friday and take your beating like a man.

    September 24, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52