September 26th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
14 years ago

When is a suspension not a suspension?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Has McCain truly suspended his campaign?."]
(CNN) - The difference between a suspended campaign and a full campaign is starting to look a lot like the distinction between a speed walk and a slow jog: to the untrained eye, the pace seems about the same.

“Campaigning, fundraising, advertising – it’s all on hold,” spokesman Brian Rogers told CNN hours after John McCain said he was suspending his presidential run until the financial crisis was resolved.

Watch: McCain move called misstep

But on Thursday, the campaign sent its morning update email, albeit a slightly muted version, to reporters as usual. John McCain followed his Wednesday night network interview with a major economic speech at the Clinton Global Initiative conference the next morning. Later in the afternoon, one campaign aide accompanied him to a high-profile White House meeting; another met with deep-pocket fundraisers in New York.

Running mate Sarah Palin made a stop by Ground Zero Thursday, taking questions from the press for the first time since being named to the Republican ticket. Even as campaign aides continued to contact television stations to pull ads from the air as directed, television spots were still airing in key battleground states nationwide.

Campaign headquarters in Crystal City was still open for business, issuing occasional statements; so were offices in half a dozen battleground states contacted by CNN, where staffers seemed unaware of any change in their daily activities.

McCain staffers and surrogates took to the airwaves, some taking swipes at Barack Obama.

“I was on TV with [McCain aide] Nicole Wallace today,” Obama senior advisor Robert Gibbs told a group of reporters at a Christian Science Monitor meeting in Washington on Thursday. “If they suspended her, she didn’t get the memo.”

Anyone who somehow missed McCain’s announcement that his campaign would be taking a hiatus wouldn’t get the news from his Web site: as of Friday morning, the site’s main page was still soliciting donations, recruiting volunteers and directing visitors to Web videos attacking Barack Obama.

The only hint of the events of the past few days was in the brief featured quote from McCain, which included a line that he was asking his campaign to work with the Obama team and the Presidential Debate Commission to delay Friday’s faceoff. But debate organizers may be taking comfort from assurance offered by the link just below that on the page: the campaign’s top “Upcoming Event” is still the University of Mississippi matchup scheduled for 9 pm this evening.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. CR

    More lies from McCain - no surprise.

    Not only that, during yesterday's white house meeting - Obama manned up while McCain sat there with his tail between his legs. Leadership is important and McCain has ZERO.

    September 26, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Joey from NC

    "I am John Mccain and I suspend my campaign. The only thing i will continue to do is run commercials, make speeches, have my vp finally answer 4 questions, and campaign. "

    September 26, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Dutch-VA

    Doesn't sound like a suspension to me, more like a distraction. McLame is trying to divert people's minds off of tonight's debate. He's going to get molly whopped tonight.

    September 26, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Joey from NC

    "I will also ask for money"

    September 26, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. Mark

    On hold? I'll give him credit, this stunt has gotten him more press than actually campaigning. Even the Wall Street Journal sees through this grandstanding and condemned McCain.

    Democracy should not be put on hold, let the debates continue. And let McCain campaign, as if he ever stopped.

    September 26, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Ron from Baltimore

    McCain, get some rest! PLEASE suspend the campaign's activities, before someone suspends you more permanently.

    September 26, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. debbie

    Pretty pathetic CNN... You should name yourself DNN.. democratic National News.

    September 26, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Royalty

    John McCain is a liar. That's all.

    September 26, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Maggie from Virginia

    Everyone knows this was just a GOP gimmick. McCain needs to recognize that he is way out of his league. Obama has superior intelligence compared to McCain.

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. deadbeatjones

    Is it any surprise that McCain would lie about this too?

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. mitch

    maybe they're just lying again? i've had enough. and i'm switching my support to obama. mccain is not putting 'country first'.

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Dave S. In Whitehall PA

    Wow. If my kids pulled this stunt, they would be in big trouble. McCain, you are setting a horrible example. You should be ashamed of yourself... oh wait you're a politician. Never mind.

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Nathan, FL

    Is it just me or does McCain at times sound like an Obama recording?

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Vincent, Great Lakes Illinois

    So much for the suspending of the campaign.

    I get so annoyed at the Republicans who claim they have "higher" morals and integrity than the democrats, when in truth, we are all alike, we all make mistakes and we are on the most all good people. I have never had an affair or flirtation in my life and have been loyal to my wife for close to 20 years, with no plans to change that. John McCain's treatment of wife #1 was disgraceful and if the story about Sarah and her husbands partner is true, Palin is no better.
    Me, I can walk with my head high.

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. mr. get $

    the games continue.

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. My View

    Yeah, some "suspension". Another big political trick by McCain & Company to try to slow down Obama's gaining momentum.

    Do they really think that Americans are stupid enough not to see right through this?

    September 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Mccain is a liar

    Mccain is a Liar he used that Campiagn stopage as a Political Ploy and the no brained Main stream Media ate it up put in my state there are still ads running John Mccain is his Flunkies are still on tv lying about Obama Cnn Wake Up Report the New Fairly. I Bet this get stuck in moderation!

    September 26, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. Independent from GA

    Looks like McCain lied again?

    September 26, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Are you implying, ma'am, that John McCain, esteemed war hero and one-time POW, and his fantastic running mate, the honorable Gov. Sarah Palin from the great state of Alaska are lying?

    I'll not stand for that ugly implication.

    September 26, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Barney

    McCain and Palin are liars. They are toying with our nation in a time of crisis.

    I've already switched from republican to democrat. If I HAD NOT, I would definitely do it today. And since NC has early voting, I'll be registering my vote as early as possible.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 26, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. luke

    Same political menouvers as the Bush/Cheney administration. We will not fall for it this time John McCain.

    GOBAMA 08!

    September 26, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. Jackson

    It's a shame McCain doesn't trust his #2 enough to take over while he's out pandering on the Hill.

    September 26, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    So if you know this......then why does the media continue to allow this to be the topic of the day. What about Troopergate, Plain unqualifird. McCain's top advisor "Rick Davis"

    Thank god for Keith Olberman, and Rachel Maddow.

    September 26, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Accountant Guy

    What a JOKE!! Once again McBush/Palin prove they are liars and cheats. We are tired of your crap, it's game over Republicans!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Ann

    Enough is Enough
    McCain get out
    We have had it

    September 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
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