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. JD in NC

    I can't vote for someone who holds themselves above law.

    September 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. USA in 08

    Regardless of whether we need a bail out or not, McCain has politicized a very important issue. He has no "offical position" on the bail out, doesn't know what to say in Worshington, continues his campaign under the viel of the term "suspended", is obviously just wanting attention.

    Everytime Obama takes a lead in the polls, McCain acts like a three year old and throws some sort of tantrum to garnish attention. This is so sad. And he is threatening to rob the american people of tonights debate because he can't afford 90 minutes of his time to tell us how "he" would fix all this if he actually had any authority in the matter.

    The 3:00 am call came and McCain ran away. Obama now has my vote and it is truly sad that this great american hero and POW has self destructed.

    September 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. go away mongers-Ventura ca

    The TRUTH is clear: McCain never suspended his campaign and more than ever before he has proven to be a typical republican–lie through your teeth-use gimmicks, and to hell with the American people.
    This is WHY we must have CHANGE!

    September 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Sam Vaghela

    McCain & Palin both have itchy trigger fingers!

    They both equal Nuclear Holocaust!

    I don't think I want my country being represented by a brood from Alaska or an aging old man who is not in touch with Reality and the true American public.

    September 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. proud army and navy mom — "With new polls showing his campaign dead in the water among California Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain has pulled out of a long-scheduled debate with Texas Gov. George Bush, set for Thursday in Los Angeles... Top campaign officials attributed McCain's decision to Bush's earlier reluctance to appear at the debate." Mavricky!

    September 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Joe

    So, I heard the question asked last night – " Is McSame "Suspending" his campaign so that this debate is moved to the Vice Presidential dabate time/date slot, or is that just a consp. theory?"

    Out of all the arguments I've read and heard on TV this seems to be the most "REPUBLICAN" reason I've heard.

    Their ticket is a freaking joke!!!!!! I cant believe that so many Americans are fooled by this. C'mon ladies a gents, we need to expose these IDIOTS and start running away with this election!!!!!

    Obama IN '08 AND BEYOND!!!!!!!!

    September 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. ONEIL

    Everyone knows these things are just politically motivated. He said what he said for political Reasons failing to understand that he'll get caught in it.

    September 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. TM in Colorado

    The Repulicans haven't cared about our economy for the last 8 years. All of the help they are offering and McCain having to "rush" to Washington to work on the economic crisis is simply done to boost McCain in the polls. He is falling behind. He has no plan for our economy (fundamentals of our ecomony are basically sound), no plan for foreign policy (stay the course in Iraq). All I've heard out of him and Palin both is psyco babble. Concede the election now McCain and go home to your Barbie doll.

    September 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. sharonb

    Senator McCain reminds me of my grandfather when gramma was cooking dinner. He would wander around the kitchen, stare in the pots, put his finger in the sauces, tell her she was cutting the tomatoes the wrong way and generally get in the way until she shooed him out, reminding him gently that he had left the gardening half done. "I'll call you when it's ready, John." Senator McCain (and Obama for that matter) have nothing to DO until this bill is written – which is being done by the chairmen of the finance and commerce committees. Then they get to vote. Meanwhile, they have other things to do. Namely: DEBATE. Senator McCain, you can keep in touch and bug everyone just as well by phone, fax, email and Flower Delivery Service, stop pretending you have to be Johnny on the spot to make these experienced, knowledgeable, dedicated people 'behave'. They chair important committees, sir, and you do not. If by some awful chance you win in November, you will have to work with them and treating them like errant children for press coverage is not likely to make that a comfortable thing.

    September 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Docb

    For the big meeting with bush..McBush brought his campaign staff and left early to 'make calls'...Obama brought his Econ staff and peppered Paulsen with what if's and How will this work'!!! says that a woman from Tresury , when ask what the number was?, REPLIED>>>THEY JUST PICKED A REALLY LARGE NUMBER! No basis technical or otherwise!!!

    McBush did not suspend ...he is grandstanding to divert attention from Rick Davis/Fannie Mae and his lack of preparedness for the debate.


    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Pat from Cali

    Schoolyard bully challenges the wrong kid, doesn't show up for the fight. Sound familiar?

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. ONEIL

    I am John McCain and i approve the above Message

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Independent FL voter

    I live in a big market in a battleground state and I saw a McCain ad last night. He didn't suspend his campaign at all, the big liar. How can anyone take anything this man says or does seriously? He's not even trying to cover up his lies now! Americans, do you really want another 4 years with a president who will shamelessly lie to you to get what he wants? Can you really trust this man to lead Congress to an economic solution that benefits all Americans, not just the wealthy? Look up Keating 5 and Rick Davis' ties to Freddie Mac–McCain's actions speak louder than his words (which are all lies anyway).

    And as for the bailout, House Repubs won't go along with the plan–instead they want to give MORE tax breaks to the wealthy to "prompt them to invest their own dollars" in Wall Street. Yeah, because all those tax breaks the wealthy have gotten during this administration really propped up our economy ... Of course, there's no Plan B if the Richie Riches decide they'll just keep their new money, thank you.

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |


    EACH INTERVIEW TIDBIT...................TELL THE REASON WHY.........

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Peggy - TX

    Paco, if you are so certain that your comments have bee censored b/c you are a Repug, then why are you so certian that your comment to that effect would be printed. My comments are also not making it in, I attributed it to a high volume of comments and high number of a articles.

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. kathy

    McCain cannot be truthful so why would a statement claiming he's put his campaign on hold be any different from anything else he says! There were ads still running in battleground states...the viewers who seen them are NOT the liars...the McCain camp and his reps ARE! I'm sure his VP pick has him scratching his head and wondering "what in the world have i done". Anyone who seen the Couric interview has to know that Palin is NOT qualified to be interviewed or asked questions by the is painfully obvious why she has been hidden from the media! McCain is stalling for time and by announcing he suspended his campaign...he can use that as an excuse for why he's behind in the polls, why he needs to cancel his debate and the VP debate, etc...He'll say it's cuz he hasn't been on the trail...cuz he's been in washington. Washington doesn't need him sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, He's more of a hinderance than a help and he's only trying to get the media coverage & attention, and by doing so it's still politicing! why say he's "suspended his campaign".

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Andy

    Joe Biden ... not just another pretty face!

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. Mike in Sacramento

    John McCain is a LIER and no matter what comes from his mouth is a out and out lie.....I'm not fooled by this proven lier.

    Mike in Sacramento

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. Peggy Munro

    So why are people supporting this McCain guy again? It sure is not the content of his character.

    September 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Ricky - Latino for Obama

    So they're telling everyone they're suspending the campaign to focus on the economy but they aren't.

    Sounds deceiving and like another lie from the McCain/Palin camp. Can we trust these people any more than Bush? I dont think so...

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. ADG

    republicans are still playing head games with there sapporters I wish that people would humble themselves admit they were wrong about bush and relize that mccain is dealing out the same mind game bush did 8 yrs ago and 4yrs ago. Its ok to be wrong. all you have to do is repent and start over! dont fall for there lies and vote obama!

    September 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Bonnie

    Chris Rock said it best last night on Larry King. I'm paraphrasing here, but basically he said who is really looking out for the average American...the guy with 12 houses and mulitple cars or the guy with one house and one care?

    September 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. margie(alabama)


    September 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Farnk, Las Vegas

    So McHoover is so concerned about the economic crisis that it took 10 days to figure out he should go back to Washington, the first time since April. Just more McHoover lies. I guess Joe LIEberman called him and said, Hey John, there sure is a lot of TV cameras here, you could get a lot of free TV time if you came here.

    September 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Mike, FL

    There is an article in clear poltics that states "Bush's lieutenants had been in discussions with McCain's people during the day on Wednesday. Obama didn't get his invitation from the president until around 7:30 p.m., just an hour and a half before Bush's speech. This was an active intervention by Bush on behalf of McCain to box Obama into the photo op. Again, was this bipartisan? "

    We can't trust Bush/McCain with our hard worked tax money!

    September 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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