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. Pat

    John McCain is trying to divert attention from his failing campaign to the failing economy. His last minute rush to Washington has just gummed up the works and made people panic more than necessary. Yes,it is a serious situation. Obama has been monitoring it from wherever he was. He made it to Washington with out too much trouble to get to the meeting he was needed at, now he is continueing on with the business of running his campaign. I have no doubt that when a proposal comes out of the committee that is working on it and is ready for a vote, both Biden and Obama will be there to vote. Since neither Obama or McCain are on the finance committee, they need to continue with their regular duties until they are needed in Washington to discuss it on the Senate floor and vote on it.

    September 26, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. JusLaugh

    The "suspension" is just another lie.

    If you are still collecting money, still have all campaign offices open, still have surrogates out there on your behalf, still have your VP pick at photo-ops, still doing network interviews, and are still running commercials in all 50 states, your campaign is NOT suspended.

    McCain is once again betting on the stupidity and ignorance of the American people. I, for one, am insulted.

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. JACK

    john and sarah should just suspend the campaign, and let the nation move on and not focus on sarah's intellectual vacuum and the frightful thought that the republicans would choose such a loser candidate! mccain maybe a war hero etc but as far as job #1, he is NOT quaified, actually maybe he was 8 years ago , he maybe actually better than our current presidente!!

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Sherry in SC

    What is so hard to understand about this?????? John McCain is doing what he should be doing – PRIORITIZING....and believe it or not, the current economic situation is a PRIOROTY. You dummycrats can't see the forest for the trees. Nobama has got you all so hypnotized that you don't even see your feet. People wake up, the reason Nobama does not stay in Washington is because he would actually have to MAKE A DECISION AND VOTE, YES VOTE something besides Present. He has not served in a Senator capacity since he has been campaigning as "the one". You people had better wake up or you deserve the pig in a poke you're going to get with Nobama. The only reason he wants to debate tonight is because he has his lines memorized from the teleprompters. He can't remember them for too long so he needs to get it over with tonight. You people are as crazy as he is if you fall for this. I feel sorry for people who can't make a decision with their head instead of the color of someone's skin.

    CNN if you can post the hateful fowl-mouthed post of some of these democrats, you can post this (even tho it is against your boy-toy)

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Kay

    Yeah, we all knew this was a joke....just like Sarah Palin and the rest of his campiagn, it is okay to tell the truth John. The American people are not as dumb as you think we always seem to figure out when you lie any way.

    OBAMA 2008

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Kim

    McLame reminds me of that old guy on every job site. You Know. The guy that should have retired years ago. Does not have a clue as to whats going on. And just wanders around getting in the way and bothering people.

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Ledia

    That's McCain for you. Say something and do something completely different. Can't trust that man!

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. RDS

    Is anyone surprised that the McCain campaign is caught lying yet again. I was wondering if suspension didnt mean what i really thought it did. I feel a major backlash brewing.

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. Ron Van Der Maarel

    Come on people, give me a break!! McCain SUSPENDS his campaign and runs to Washington to TAKE CHARGE & FIX all of our problems??? And what happens? Now we hear the comments that everything was OK, until HE got there!! LISTEN UP! IF McCain has that much influence then I am scared to death as to what would happen if he was President! Did he really think that he was so above the rest, had the power to fix these problems on his own, that by his meer presence things would end? To me this demonstrates a total lack of judgement, and lacking in the decision making process! If ANYONE thinks that there is 1 person that has the ability to fix these many problems we are facing overnight then maybe I need to submit my daughter's name for President!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    What a shocker . . . another lie from

    Cirque de McCain

    September 26, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. ber6964

    McCain a glorified moron!!

    September 26, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Bulldog

    "I'm John McCain I approve this lie"

    September 26, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Emilio

    Shame on you for reporting the idea that the great and wonderful Senator McCain would lie to the American people. This man was a POW and has been a Maverick in the Senate for the past 26 years, he never lies.

    September 26, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. PUMBU


    September 26, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. McCain is too old

    McCain was caught grandstanding with his faux suspension. What an old fool! McCain and his ditzy prom queen are a joke!

    September 26, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. NYFN08

    This campaign is becoming worse than theater. It's turning into a joke. Anyone entertaining regrets about their donation to McCain-Palin 08? Never mind, you probably still don't see reality at this point. Just like you didn't with Bush, Rove & Co. the past two elections.. Good luck McCain supporters and hope you all wake up before the ship sinks!

    September 26, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. R.I.F.

    I thought I was the only one who was trying to figure out in what way did McCain suspend his campaign. I guess all you have to do is say I'm suspending my campaign and that counts as suspending your campaign. The night before they even released "campaign susspension" campaign talking points. I really think McCain thinks that Americans are stupid and thats scary because isn't that the way the current president views us.

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

    Smoke and mirrors – as usual.

    September 26, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. tulsa

    what can you say? it's become so common for them to lie, lie, lie.

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

    Worried about a debate??? When the financial sector of the US is about to come tumbling down... Last I checked both of the presidential candidates were elected to do a job in Congress... I think it is very important that both of them are there to vote... then make public how they voted!!!

    After reading some of the blogs... it is amazing how quickly all of you want to jump on a "quick fix" and blame McCain... It seems most Americans especially the younger generation seem to forget that they need to "look before they leap!!!"

    I would prefer that the lawyers analyze the proposed bail out line by line to make sure this does not turn into another Great Depression...

    In my little experience the quick and fast solution usually ends up turning into a big and long disaster!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. victoria gonzales

    Mccain is so into trying help in this crisis why does'nt he sell 6 of his 7 houses and give the money to help somewhat the economic crisis,Instead of buying things he or his wife really dont need they can bail out these companies

    September 26, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Brian

    A suspension is not a suspension when a candidate is not a candidate.

    September 26, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Nurse Ratchet

    Does the McCain camp have anything substantial to offer our country other than pandering, political ploys, and distractions?!

    Where's the beef?

    September 26, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Karen

    McLiar is a stinkling LIAR. He want to lie to the American people by saying he will suspend his campaign when infact he knew he technically did not. "putting country first" my butt. Bull crap....

    September 26, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. Felines for Freedom

    Wait a minute? So McCain is not in Congress? Imagine that. I hope the American public is not dumb enough to fall for this charade. Thanks for pointing this out CNN.

    September 26, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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