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. Saad from NJ

    This is sooooooooooo funny...... My stomach hurts by laughing so much. This campaign has reached new comedic heights!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. lovable liberal

    The media is supposed to take McCain at his word, never mind that this political ploy has bunkum and desperation written all over it.

    September 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Annie

    If John McCain was so concerned about the economic crisis why wasn't he in DC 6 days earlier. And why didn't he read Paulson's recommendations until Tuesday of this week when it was out the Thursday before? And how is he going to help when bills start in the House and they don't have one yet, and he isn't a member of any committee working on it? And why did he suspend his campaign kind of sort of, but not really. It's all for show. John McCain, do you think we are so ignorant that you can actually pull one over on all of us?

    September 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Josh, Wheaton, IL

    Ok, after this, the Bridge to Nowhere & the earmark situation, how the bloody hell are these candidates still alive (in a political sense of course)? Why don't people go, "Hey, he's lying. He's a liar. Done"? And if he appears at the debate tonight before they sign a deal, that'll be another lie! Even Bush campaigns weren't this bad.

    September 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. tws1906

    When u suspend a campaign u stop all activity...has McCain done that...


    Another stunt.

    September 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. nancy

    All I can say is "DUH"

    September 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Bottom line: Obama has NO resume, even for change!!

    Are you liberals that stupid?? I think McCain put his campaign on hold in the sense that he is not running around stumping, or willing to attend a debate, which is just an acting display anyway. He wants to stay in DC and help hammer this deal out. Of course the Dems are saying he ruined a deal when he showed up, but there never was a deal. Obama on the other hand was willing to blab via video, and stay down in MI to "study" instead. Hey, I guess he could vote Present by proxy. I can't believe Dems aren't demanding Obama cancel the debate and be there to get this done as a sitting senator, and possible president. Better to stay there and do nothing, which was his first choice. Now he can run back to be there for the debate, which is his first priority, and he gets KUDOS???? You guys are nuts

    September 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. ANGIE

    Does anyone think Mccain may be involed in the corruption that took place on wall street? REMEMBER KEATING FIVE! Maybe its not the debates that have mccain running SCARED maybe its something much bigger like trying to save his self from being caught up in the CORRUPTION! ANY COMMENTS ANYONE ANY AGREE OR DISAGREE SOMETHING SMELLS FISHY WITH MCCAIN!

    September 26, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Burton

    Another in a litany of bald-faced lies from dishonored McCain. How about lying to Letterman when he cancelled about "rushing off to Washington" – only to be caught on camera down the street and even spending the night in NYC.

    This man no longer has any honor in my book. And don't get me started on dimwit Palin....

    September 26, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. S. Boatman

    Its Not A Suspension When Mccain Lies About It By Continuing To Campaign The Entire Time!

    September 26, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. mother of three girls

    OBAME / BIDEN 08

    September 26, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. jim

    When is a 'suspended campaign' just a blatant POLITICAL STUNT? I actually think McCain is suffering some sort of medical situation and his Karl Rove, et al. Wizard of Oz style cover up is trying to use the Wall Street meltdown as an excuse to get out of debating. But that's just me. I hope McCain is of good health, but none of this makes any sense. For him to skip out on the debate tonight will be suicide. He's already plumetting in the polls. Americans need to wake up and look at these two candidates. It's crystal clear which one of them can handle doing more than one thing at a time.

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

    The only thing "suspended" was McCain's scheduled appearance on Letterman. Instead of doing that, he went on Katie Couric. And he personally lied to Letterman–telling him he was getting on a plane to Washington.

    September 26, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Bravado in Boston

    Let's just say that the House and Senate cannot agree on a package until AFTER the Autumn Recess. Does that mean that Barack Obama will will by default since he will have no challenger?

    Let McCain stay in Washington. Maybe he will have someone show him how to vote when it is time (his voting record is abysmal compared to others who have been campaigning).

    Let McCain keep his campaign "suspended" until after the second week in November! Sounds like a plan to me!

    September 26, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Vagabundo

    Suspension? Ha ha ha, yeah right. Nobody is falling for that trick.

    September 26, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    The McCain campaign lying? Now there's a new one.

    September 26, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. SDunn

    Because it wasn't a suspension! McCain LIED again wow what a surprise!!! He still ran ads, he still campaigned yesterday and the Global Initiative, and he still had his surrogates on tv lying to the American people.

    September 26, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. RepubNoMore

    McCain is a gimmicky liar. End of story.

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

    A great exacmple of the Left hand not knowing what the Right hand is doing with the McCain Campaign. Am I surprised? NO McSame has never come across as a man who knows what he is doing! He appointed Sarah Palin the gal who stated that Russia and Canada were in Alaska and were under her executive management! Hello?

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Mrs. McIntosh

    The American voters deserve to know the truth about McCain suspending his campaign. Why did you make the statement "I am suspending my presidential campaign until the financial crisis has been resolved"? You did not suspend your campaign.

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    McCain is trying very hard to "look" presidential; however, his actions deny that.

    McCain can't get far enough away from Bush and his antics, and the economic crisis, a Bush by-product, is front and center. Then add the Palin factor to this and you have a disaster of epic proportions for McCain. Perhaps Srah can explain the "hockey mom" economic plan here? Or will she have to get back to us later, like she suggested to Katie Couric yesterday when asked to give examples of how McCain would fix things?!

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. RF

    I hope the American people can see through this "stunt". It is amazing to me how low McCain has stooped, and to think even though I did not agree with many of his politics, I had at least respected him. I have lost that respect for him now, and it is evident that he has lost respect for him self. So sad.

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. CAROLE

    I admire McCain's descision to suspend, re the debate: just another place for Obama to spew more verbal diahrea

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. georgia independent

    Lies R Us

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Sofia

    Oh McCain, full of lies and misinformation. If Obama loses the election, there will be a questioning going on.

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10