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. Brain in DC

    But he has made a statement "suspending the campaign". Just the meaning got lost in translation.

    September 26, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. MCCRYPT CANNOT MULTITASK

    When McCrypt finds he is running out of campaign funds and needs a reason to hit the pause button on his "campaign"!

    September 26, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Brain in DC

    It is "selective suspension". Just he doesn't have time for a debate. It isn't that important.

    September 26, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. We Demand Our Country Back!

    Lies are lies...and the McCain campaign is great at telling them.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 26, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Chelsea

    McCain is fooling no one BUT himself. His erratic behavior disqualifies him to become the President of this great country. His VP pick tells a lot about his judgement. Is this really country first?

    September 26, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. OPEN YOU MIND

    Just another way of avoiding the real issues that face America.

    September 26, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    When is a suspension not a suspension?????????????????????

    WHEN YOU LIE TO A SHOW HOST, WHEN YOU ARE TAPING AN INTERVIEW WITH HIS NETWORK.

    AFTER YOU WENT ON TV AND SUSPENDED YOUR CAMPAIGN.

    WHEN YOU GIVE A SPEECH BEFORE THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE.

    WHEN YOUR CAMPAIGN ADS ARE STILL PLAYING.

    WHEN YOUR MOUTH-PIECES LINDSAY GRAHAM, ETC., ARE STILL MAKING THE ROUNDS OF TV NETWORKS AND TALKING ABOUT ......YOU.......MCCAIN!

    WHEN YOUR VP IS STILL OUT ON THE TRIAL, MAKING A FOOL OF HERSELF.

    ITS A STUNT....... MCCAIN IS AFRIAD AND THIS WHOLE THING IS MORE DRAMA AND ...........MORE DISTRACTION FROM THE CRITICAL ISSUES FACING HARD-WORKING AMERICANS!

    September 26, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. John Griswell

    Is more proof needed that this whole 'Country First' campaign suspension is anything more then "McCain First'?

    If so how about McCain blowing up the deal last night at the White House.

    The goal is to delay/cancel the VP debate and stop folks from talking about the disastrous Couric interview Palin gave and Rick Davis Fannie/Fredie lobbying payments that continued until they were taken over my the taxpayers.

    September 26, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Tired of W, OH

    P O L I T I C A L S T U N T.

    Nothing more. As usual, McCain says one thing and does another. I'm sure pretty soon he'll forget he suspended the campaign, deny he ever did so, then accuse the liberal media of being in Obama's pocket when they prove to him that he said it.

    Some people would vote for a turnip if the GOP nominated it.

    September 26, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. EE

    I was born in Louisiana in 1944 and can vaguely remember when James Meredith enrolled at the University of Mississippi. When the
    location for the first debate was announced my thoughts went back to
    his enrollment and forward to while we as a country have lots of
    work left to do, we have come a long way. With a sense of pride the
    picture of an African American and a White Male on the same stage
    at the University of Mississippi vying to become the most powerful
    man on earth emerged. While the country is in an economic crisis, the
    matter is in committee and a few hours of time from both candidates
    will send a symbolic message. YES WE CAN!

    September 26, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. bert

    REMIND PEOPLE TO GET REGISTERED TO VOTE AND GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!! VOTE FOR OBAMA 08 AND 2012.

    September 26, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Priscilla Gordon

    I am slowly but surely losing all confidence in the Press to do their job. How is it that a candidate can say that he has supspended his campaign, well in fact it is in full swing, and CNN and other news organization let them get away with this lie. Why can't the press do it's job and report the truth? Not the truth as McCain and his campaign sees it, but the truth, period. Is this too much to ask?

    CNN please do your job–the American people will be the beneficiary of your good work.

    Thank you.

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. GPENN

    McCain lied about the suspension, just like all his other lies. It was nothing but a ploy to rescue his poll numbers.

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. independent for Obama

    Well, if we were undecided, we sure arent now...voting DEMOCRAT straight ticket this year..any/all democrats are better now than any republican..especially McCain-Palin..what a mess..we have lost money, our kids are in jeopardy of losing their homes..maybe congress/senate could donate 2 of those so called bad mortages houses to MY kids..maybe if these banks had tried to work with people better on staying IN their homes, they wouldnt be holding so many bad mortages!!!!
    Democrats, Obama-Biden..please HELP...
    our only true choice

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Mark

    As usual the "Straight Talk Express" is talking in circles. Country is definitely not first for McCain.

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Bruce

    This is just a silly TRICK. McCain shows total comtemp of all Ameericans as he think everyone is as dumb as he is. Only a stupid person will do the things he is doing and think he can convence anyone that he is really putting Country First. Just look at his first decission VP if that is putting Country First we are in trouble. Anyone that still thinks he can lead this country must have had some strange stuff to smoke.

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Never obama

    Rebecca, you are very slow between the ears. A campaign is not a light switch.
    But of course, this is just more of the same from CNN. You people have become such a joke for 50% of this country.Correction, CNN has always been a joke but this time we're going to start saying something ...................like in boycott.

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. AA Michael

    Did Ruben Navarrette read this? He's pushing "McCain did the right thing" today, when it turns out, McCain actually did nothing.

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Roland

    This unstable candidate doesn't know the truth from the Keating 5. Maybe his VP choice can help him out.

    September 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. Latinos for Obama-Biden

    McCain is a FRAUD. Plain and simple. He is dangerous for America.

    September 26, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Fax

    This is NOT a suspension. McCains Gambled on changing venues to look like he's taking a leadership role. Heres what I think he did his finacial advisors the former Freddy Fanny guys have come up with another plan and instead of talking have the House Republicans DISSAPPER from the talks and McCain will bring them back to the talks making it look like Johns got everything under control and has saved the day . How childish and transparent could it be. This is I agree a real crisis and having a presidental candidate go back to Washington under FALSE pretense is so reckless this proves Mccain cares NOTHING for the American people and only thinks of himself and winning this election.

    September 26, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. arc, Lugano CH

    When John McCain, the GOP, and Palin rewrite the rules as part of a political strategy based on the Goebbels-style propaganda and lies.

    Watch them (McCain and the GOP) try to shield Palin from her VP debate if it’s supposed to last more than 23 seconds!

    September 26, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. margie(alabama)

    ANOTER LIE BY THE REPUBLICAN GOD HELP US IF THEY BECOME PRESIDENT

    September 26, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. Ron Van Der Maarel

    OVERSIGHT & CHECK & BALANCES: I do not understand?? What is the problem with establishing the above to the $700 Billion? I thought that our government has the same principles built into it? The President is the leader of our country, but he/she does not have absolute power. The House & Senate, along with the president have to agree with whatever the problem is! And somewhere down the line our leaders will inform us, those without power or influence, of there decisions, and we follow blindly, hoping & trusting in their decisions!
    If WE the people find out they have failed us then we throw them out and elect some more! Sounds like the above to me! I would agree that from what we have seen that the system has many problems and maybe it is time to take a REAL GOOD LOOK at our constitution & its rules and to update/add things to bring it into REAL TIME!!

    September 26, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Mike

    Wow... People are calling into question McCain's actions for suspending his campaign...

    Lets see the thing McCain wants most is to become president... Instead of proceeding with his campaign and debating Obama over things we have all heard for months now... He decided to put his most important personal accomplishment on hold... so he could meet with the people who are deciding on the biggest proposed financial bail out plan to save our country's failing economy.

    I guess atleast 47% of you do not know what leadership is about or what Country First is all about!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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