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. Dennis

    McCain can't even stop his own campaign, how can we expect or respect his ability to control or lead? BIG LIAR EMPTY WORDS

    September 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Ron L

    Senator McCain is in DESPERATION MODE...He will say and do just about anything to make it APPEAR that he is "FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN". How does a person who has been ULTRA RICH for over 20 years relate to the AVERAGE AMERICAN... I don't buy it!!
    Senator McCain has been a firm believer in TRICKLE DOWN economics until 4 days ago....
    It is ALL smoke and mirrors.

    September 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Sarah is More Bush than BUSH!

    McCain has become more Rove than Rove.
    This is just another lie in a long list of lies by McCain.

    We cannot Trust John McCain anymore. He repeatedly and blatantly lies to all Americans.

    I dont know what has happened to him, but he has lost my respect

    I was shocked that some people still have trust and faith in him. I thought it was clear that this wall a stupid game he was playing. His supporters sadly continued to defend his as "patriotic" and a "great leader" for his choice to go back to DC.


    September 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. elaine

    If McCain wins and takes us into a third war at least he would be able to suspend one of the wars while he moves troops from one war to the other and then resume and then suspend and move them back after his surge has been completed.

    September 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Informed Voter

    Mc Cain is a Proven Liar .... Why are you surprise CNN?!?!?

    September 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. American

    Run, run, hide, hide, distract here... Look Haley's Comet over there....

    McCain and Palin are running from the American Public and they both are a farce.

    Do you really want the disoriented McCain as President? Years in a POW camp is bound to leave a few screws loose. Remember the movie Manchurian Candidate. Has he published any medical or psychological records?

    Know-nothing Palin isn't much better. Her last interview was a joke! Did you see where she was exorcised by her minister (witchdoctor)!

    America wake up.

    September 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Judy

    McCain is a fake, liar and a no nonsense fool. He don't have a clue on how to run this country and now that the real deal is out, he can't even do anything but fool the American People. People we are not in deep depression or regression or resession but if you vote for McSane and Palin every woman, man, child, doctor, lawyer and indian chiefs will be figinting for survivial. This man is a fool and he is studpid as studip can get.

    September 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. rice, bryan

    it's like the iraq war, make the american people look one way, and go the other.

    September 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Sharon from Dumfries Virginia

    Obama go to the debate and if McCain doesn't show, have a Town Hall Meeting and take questions. Please, do not give in to a reschedule date for this debate if McCain doesn't show.

    September 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    McCain should feel pretty good about calling off the debate. He has got his surrogates firing away, still got the negative ads running in the swing states, and the old Airman is going to take the high road, showing some leadership– country first– spoil the deal; and got everybody hoodwinked. Now where did I put my underwear?

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Paco

    Republican beware of the CNN moderators on this site. They have stripped out all my Republican comments this morning. CNN is biased to the point of cheating bloggers of their right to free speech! This is what you can expect from the Democrats and Obama!

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. jm for sc

    When McCain makes the call. If the American people are taken in by John McCain, I guess the country deserves whatever we get. From Palin to pretending to suspend his campaign, McCain has made every reason not to vote for him clear.

    It is sad to see members of the Fox McCain News cast speak against Obama for not letting McCain dictate to him on where and how to debate him as well as when he should suspend his campaign.

    If McCain made this move from his heart, it would have been done on impulse rather that going on national tv making a speech for political gain. He will try and say any stupid thing to gain in the polls as well as get a few applauds.

    Obama/Biden keep campaigning until November 4th 2008

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Baze

    Country First? I don't think so. The G.O.P. antics are turning this country on its head. They are a shameless cult of tyrants that continue to step higher on what could be a very hard downfall.


    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Alice

    of course – its all just talk, cheap talk

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Pat, Indiana

    McCain and Plain, the original Mavericks

    Be Smart America,

    Obama / Biden '08

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. angie

    Is anyone surprised? This was a strategic political move ... nothing else.

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. indewoman for OBAMA

    McCain in a McCain

    Obama all the way......

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Andrea

    John McCain "LOOK AT ME!! LOOK AT ME, GUYS!!! I'm being a leader, I'm being a leader. SEE." Ummm....I wonder if anyone stopped to think that that's not what a good leader actually does...

    September 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Carol- TX

    I believe this was all a POW move on McCain part. He's old and he's tired. He needed a reason not to be traveling and to get some e need rest . beleive McCain will be at the debate on Friday night .

    Let's not be Fooled has anything stop for his Campaign Check it out for yourself. Let's face it MCCain can't tell the truth anymore with his VP in training it's getting kind of hetic.

    The media is not commenting for some reason but did anyone see the clip of Sarah Palin interview OH MY GOD . And the clip with the UN leaders her knowledge something we can all talk about he had a new baby? WOW YEP she should be President ?????

    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. BudInTexas

    1. John McCain is a liar.

    2. John McCain is an adulterer.

    3. John McCain is a bribe taker (Keating 5)

    4. John McCain is an elitist (9 homes, 13 cars; married to a $100,000,000 aire

    5. Have I mentioned that John McCain is a liar.

    6. John McCain is dangerous for the security of our country (see Sarah (I can see Russia from my house) Palin.

    7. John McCain is a walking stunt.

    Where is Mitt Romney when we really need him???????????

    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. White Mother for Obama!!

    Mr. McCain was at one end of the long conference table, Mr. Obama at the other, with the president and senior Congressional leaders between them. Participants said Mr. Obama peppered Mr. Paulson with questions, while Mr. McCain said little.

    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. America will be free again


    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. Jamie

    Big surprise. McCain gets caught in a lie.

    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. laughing all the way to a democratic victory


    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Tired of the Lies

    Half-truths have become the modus operandi of the McCain campaign. This is no different.

    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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