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

When is a suspension not a suspension?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/18/art.mccainecon.gi.jpg 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. Fed Up

    What a joke. McSame's latest publicity stunt was about as cheap as they get. Running around like a chicken with your head cut off, making knee jerk reaction decisions is not the way to run the country.

    President (to be) Obama over the last couple of days has looked very Presidential, while McSame looks like someone running around trying to find his Bingo card.

    To add insult to injury, every time Caribou Barbie opens her mouth, she reveals herself to be more incompetent by the second. I saw some of her Couric interview last night and her answer on how being in Alaska gives her foreign policy experience was absolutely incomprehensible. Ms. South Carolina ("U.S. Americans," etc.) would be a more qualified candidate.

    Just say NO to Bush 44 and Caribou Barbie.

    Go Obama/Biden!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. bob

    This was all a stunt from John McCain. So sad.

    September 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. Future Vision

    let's see

    John McShame didn't really do anything on Capitol Hill except cause a mess -what if this were the White House

    Sarah Failin was making promises to find some instances were John McLame was for regulation to Katie Couric that won't happen

    though they took some nice pictures this week with no real meaning behind them except to distract from SLUMPING POLL NUMBERS

    David Letterman will have third night of taking JM through the ringer which well is deserved - David got dissed for another pretty face (Couric)

    Seems John has more lies than a vegas hooker on a Friday night during the Christmas season

    September 26, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. lisa

    John McCain is a joke period! He is trying to lead America by traveling the same path Bush has. John McCain is totally out of touch.

    You see how quick he bailed out on main street (whom he so call care about) to be apart of wall street (those who he really love because Cindy is one of them).

    John has to make sure Cindy 100 millions are secure.

    John McCain: DONT YAW BLANK -A- DE -BLANK BLANK MESS WITH OUR STASH!!! I DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS WE BETTER CINDY AND I BETTER COME OUT ON TOP WE HAVE TO MUCH STOCK.

    September 26, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. JD FROM NEW YORK

    THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN IS BLOWING HOT AIR.....IT A SHAME HOW THEY ARE PLAYING GAMES WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE....JOHN MCCAIN WILL TRY TO WIN AT ANY COST AND HE IS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT US...THE AVERAGE PERSON.....

    SHAME ON YOU MCCAIN....I HAVE LOST ALL RESPECT FOR YOU AND YOUR CAMPAIGN....I'M VOTING DEMOCRAT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ADULT LIFE!!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Annette

    I hope the American people will not fall for the banana in the tail pipe, which is what the McCain camp is doing. Some of us are not fooled.. The strategy was to slow the Obama camp down, while the McCamp continued to campaign unknowingly. Thank God, Obama had the good judgement to continue campaigning and not fall for the banana in the tail pipe. I want a president that will, at the most, remain firm and consistent, not a potential president that will drift with every wind and double minded in thinking and objectivity. If you stand for nothing you fall for anything.

    September 26, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. No way No how

    Pallin took questions from the press? Did she give more answers like this one that she gave to Katie Couric?
    Palin, in a rambling and largely incoherent response, responded,Quote: "That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it's got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and getting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade - we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation."

    September 26, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. jimmy

    SENATOR MCCAIN HAVING GONE TO WASHINGTON TO HELP IRON OUT A DEAL BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND HAVE A BILL TO
    FUND (BAILOUT, RESCUE) THE ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN AND PROVIDE THE MONETARY ENGINE FOR THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO FUNCTION AS THEY SHOULD, OUGHT TO NOW GO TO MISSISSIPPI AND DEBATE SENATOR OBAMA AS SCHEDULED. HE CAN GO BACK TO WASHINGTON AND HELP WITH THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE ECONOMIC SUMMIT AFTER THE DEBATE.

    September 26, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. R Saunders

    Don't stand too close to this campaign. It is about ready to go "splat".

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

    This article just says what we already know. The whole McBush 'campaign suspension' was just a gimmick to make McBush look like he puts 'Country First' while in fact he continued with his usual campaign schedule. He canceled his appearance on David Letterman knowing that it would recieve media coverage and make him look as though he had to rush to Washington tosave America.
    However, Letterman made a complete fool of McBush by proving that he was actually in the same studio as Letterman and was doing an interview wit Katie Couric. Then Letterman laughed at McFool on the Air and offered to drive him to the airport. McFarce is fast becoming a bad joke.

    September 26, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Bob Indianapolis IN

    In chemistry, a suspension ceases to be a suspension when it separates and all the sludge [like toxic lies] sinks to the bottom...

    September 26, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Army Aviator

    It's like me saying, "I'm really not hungry" but then I proceed to visit the buffet line at an All You Can Eat four times in a row! Yea, I know John, just tell me and I'll believe it!! At this point, I'LL meet you for your 10 Town Hall meetings just to hear you SHUT UP about em'! Besides, just about every one of your so called Town Hall meetings were filled with Repubs and supporters...not a true diverse crowd! So what does that REALLy say about you and Town Halls. Doesn't look like any TOWN I've ever visited!

    September 26, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Republican Woman for Obama

    Shocking! The McCain campaign is lying again??

    September 26, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. wwf

    I have no idea who McCain thinks he is fooling. Not anyone with half a brain. A political move from the get go. He can also drop the military jargan. Mia, full speed ahead, etc. He seems to forget he is no longer in the military, but he is in a war of his own making. He has proven to me that without a war going on he is clueless as to what to do for the country.

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

    McCain and Palin are LIARS. What will it take for people to realize that? If they are so willing to lie and play political games to get to the WH, imagine what they will do to us if they actually get there. Huh, I seem to remember another recent president sometimes in the past 8 years LYING and playing political games with his power.

    MORE OF THE SAME.

    September 26, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Sam Vaghela

    This is bunch of crack pot tactics of McCain Shame and Palin, who is no where in site and always dodging reporters and important questions.

    We demand a Debate to take place TODAY! McCain come out of the Cave or Rock you are hiding under and face Obama!

    Like Obama said, "McCain won't even follow Osama Bin Ladin to the caves he hides in"

    We do not need a old geezer like McCain to lead us with his short comnings.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 26, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. Matt in Pittsburgh

    I really don't care to parse words on what "is" is, etc. As the defacto leader of the republican party, I'm glad Sen. McCain is in there making waves. Why should a deal of such a size be rushed through?? What is Henry Paulsen trying to hide? Both candidates should be there and be part of the negotiations. One of them will be the next president and will have to live with this mess. I would think they would want some input!!

    There needs to be a full accounting and oversight of what exactly this money is going to be spent on. There needs to be a full investigation of the heads of these failed entities to see what criminal liability there may be.

    That's what McCain is fighting for. He's protecting my tax dollar. I applaud his "interference" and condemn Lord Obama's lack of interest.

    September 26, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. Cathy

    To me it looks like business as usual. mmmmmm I wonder ?

    September 26, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. AMERICAN

    Exactly......McCain is playing politics with Americans.....What an Idiot.

    September 26, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Chris S.

    Doesnt look like a suspended campaign to me. Looks like Mccian is trying to score some political points with independents. This nation has more bigots than i thought. Even those high donor Hillary supporters are bigots. Im starting to wonder is really becuase Obama is black?

    September 26, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. MikeH

    More 'Cut and Run' John McCain lies

    'Cut and Run' McCain cut and ran because he and his campaign manager got caught is a bald-faced lie about taking secret $15K/ month payments from Fannie Mae up until August.

    'Cut and Run' McCain is showing behavior that suggests he is mentally unstable. George Will is right, 'Cut and Run' McCain is not Presidential material. His VP poodle Palin can't even string together a coherent sentence during interviews.

    September 26, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Big D

    When is 'Country First' just a slogan and every act just a gimmick?
    This so-called suspension is jus one more in a string of risky gimmicks from McCain' campaign.
    McCain just keeps overreacting and acting without integrity or leadership. Throwing random ideas out is not leadership!

    September 26, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Cirena

    This was a political stunt, and everybody knows it. Mccain is definitely sticking to his MO (method of operation), LIE, LIE, LIE, DENY, DENY, DENY, BLAME, BLAME, BLAME. Some idiots will believe that his actions were a grand gesture of him putting his country first, but intelligent people realize that he's lying and playing political games. I really think he cooked his rotten goose/moose this time.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008 ALL THE WAY

    September 26, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Peggy - TX

    There is no logical reason to suspend the campaign. The Republicans are stonewalling in a crude attempt to some how make McCain look like the hero.

    McCain lied to his first wife about his many girl friends he opening flaunted on the side. When he met his current wife he lied to her about his age to try and be more appealing to her. He lied about Obama sending operatives to Alaska, when the operatives in Alaska were actually from his campaign and are probably illegally interfering with a criminal investigation.

    I never before question McCain his patriotism, but now I do! The importance of the current crises to America is too greater for him to block progress in a rather crude attempt to stomp the current momentum for Obama.

    September 26, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Felly

    McCain is a hypocrite. He is incompetent. If he cannot run his campaign, how in the world could he run the country?

    September 26, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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