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. Candy West Virginia

    Come on people he lied to us AGAIN. This whole charade was so that palin would not debate but it backfired on him. He took a gamble and lost. I guess that is an indication of the type of presidency we could look forward to if (God forbids) he gets elected.

    September 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Michael G-Ventura ca

    Has anyone other than me noticed so many people with Hispanic surnames are posting pro-McCain comments. These are republicans being not so covert on a mission of chaos. I doubt seriously if any of them are Hispanic! Si se puede!
    NOT THIS TIME!

    September 26, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Ed

    No surprise here...McCain has spit out a bunch of lies and hypocrisy throughout his campaign, and this is just one more obvious example. I don't trust him.

    September 26, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Hillary supporter for Obama

    Hahaha...yeah...the McCain/Palin camp just want to delay these debates as long as they can...both Presidential and VP...until post election if they could!! This is such a joke! I'm so sick of their publicity stunts!
    All Obama wants to do is get the truth to the American public!

    Shame on you, McCain!

    September 26, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Fax

    Michigan here and OH YES the ads are still running

    September 26, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    hmmmm, this is a good article

    September 26, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    This whole story about the campaign being suspended is just another in a series of John McCain’s questionable missteps that brings into question his integrity, his judgment, and his ability to lead. His integrity because, guess what…the campaign is still going on, therefore he is not telling the truth. His judgment because who would stop their campaign, just have their VP pick up the slack. His ability to lead because he has shown that he cannot attack multiple problems, he is a one-trick pony.

    September 26, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Not fooled

    I will say it like it is....Mr.Bean goes to Washinton.

    September 26, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    This whole story about the campaign being suspended is just another in a series of John McCain’s questionable missteps that brings into question his integrity, his judgment, and his ability to lead. His integrity because, guess what…the campaign is still going on, therefore he is not telling the truth.

    His judgment because who would stop their campaign, just have their VP pick up the slack. His ability to lead because he has shown that he cannot attack multiple problems, he is a one-trick pony.

    September 26, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Mel

    I have at this point lost complete respect for John McCain. The man is deteriorating before our eyes.

    September 26, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. Luke Brown

    Big Mac is clearly manipulating House GOP members to make political hay out of this mess on Wall Street. In picking Palin he showed he is willing to do ANYTHING to get an advantage regardless of whether it is in the best interest of the country.

    Here's an idea: Since McCain thinks Palin is fit to be President, he should ask her to take the lead in negotiating a bailout deal.

    September 26, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Matt

    Proven leaders are people who show integrity by doing what they say they are going to do. If McCain was half the leader his ego is telling him he is, then he would have walked the walk and suspended his campaign, not just talked the talk.

    September 26, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. No way No how

    Here are some pearls of wisdom from our wannabe VP candidate
    in an interview with 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."

    She makes Bush look smart. Open your eyes people

    September 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. bert

    It's okay McCain, just take a deep breath and come from behind that skirt and just start talking.... you've done it before, remember when you had to tell your crippled ex wife you were leaving her for Cindy Moneybags! McCain is a creep and I am glad to find out all of this before hand. Let's make the right choice and put Barack Obama in office and get this country going in the right directiion. Vote for Obama 08 and 2012.

    September 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. obama/biden supporter

    Now wait a minute!

    You mean to tell me that McCain has time to take his hands "off-deck" from the financial crisis and do press releases and all of this other hulabaloo, but when it comes to the debate he says that the crisis needs "all hands on deck" and thus he cant make it to the debat??!

    What?! He must think that we as voters are ignorant. Precisely why this man should not be elected....and why he WONT be elected

    September 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Obamabots are funny

    O'baba thinks the campaign is his career. Go to work you slack off!

    Whats he going to do when he has to go back to work in the Senate? Does he need a map to get there?

    Thank goodness for McCains leadership that will provide as a non-partisan in these talks.

    A true leader in every sense. McCain for President!

    September 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. no Mcbush

    another of john mcbush's stunt. americans will really be very studip to vote this senile man to white house, with very georgous and clueless vp a hearbeat away from wh. after 8 destructive years of G W bush, americans is that all you can offer. the whole world is laughing at youhaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaa. pls i dont think america is the example and leader to the world anymore. maybe the world can turn to russia for a guide.

    September 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Peg, Canada

    There is no way McCain will not show up at the debate and more or less hand Obama all that *free* air time.

    September 26, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Richard Sattich - Georgetown Ky.

    The only thing he suspended was his rational thought process.
    This ploy is transparent to anyone and everyone that isn't ruled
    by blind faith to the Republican party. His ploy won't work.
    He won't get credit for bringing the Republican House in line.
    The only reason they backed off the agreement yesterday
    was because he ask them to stall it. That is obvious.
    So he can't take credit for convincing them to resolve the issue.
    There is no reason for him to be in Washington today.
    There is no reason he cannot debate tonight.

    September 26, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. No Thanks!

    It amazes me that this man can't do more than one thing at a time. Obama was on the hill yesterday, but he didn't need to suspend his campaign while he was there. He was able to do both, what is McCain's problem?

    September 26, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. Willis

    You know I have followed this election very closely. And I have analyze it over and over again to myself.
    There is now way in hell this election should be this close.
    All the strikes are against McCain. I would not even call his campaign a campaign. It is more like a circus freak show.
    This is a no brainer of choice.

    My Conclusion: The race appears to be close becuase Obama is black. There is no other explanation. If you are thinking otherwise you need to get your head out of the sand.

    Just for once, JUST THIS ONCE I am hoping America will do to right things and elected the right person this time after 8 years of fears by the GOP.

    McCain and his running mate is not fit to lead. If they win this thing it will be George Bush times 4. If you think the last 8 years was bad, think again with McCain and Palin in charge.

    Can you say WW111 with the heavily armed nuke central 2 (Russia)!!

    September 26, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Yasriel

    Simply put McCain is playing "Runaway Bride"...I hope ppl still remember that episode in Georgia. lol.

    McCain = Runaway Debater

    September 26, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. georgia independent

    CNN – would love to see an interview with a few major PUMAs. A few questions:

    – What would Hillary have done in this situation – suspend? Debate? Dither?

    – What do you think about the suspension that isn't a suspension?

    – What do you think about Sarah Palin now that she has actually spoken to reporters a few times?

    – Who are you voting for now?

    September 26, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. Peggy Munro

    Hey , Angie, the same thought did cross my mind.

    September 26, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. DebM, Allentown, PA

    I agree with Parker that watching Palin is a cringefest of the highest order.

    However, the bulk of what she says causes me great consternation, particularly in these areas:

    1) Yes, Joe Biden occasionally suffers from foot-in-mouth disease. However, given the breadth of his knowledge and the amount of campaigning he's doing, occasional gaffes are expected. Palin's unscripted appearances are few and far between and she is incapable of speaking to his level of expertise on any subject, except possibly Alaska's proximity to Russia.

    2) This comment of Parker's, "bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first." reeks of sexism and serve only to harm women's pursuit of higher office. Those of us who criticized Palin for putting her career ahead of her family, in particular her special needs child and 17-year-old daughter especially in need of privacy, were severely taken to task by conservative and Republican supporters. And yet that now becomes an acceptable reason for her to withdraw? Once again, the hypocrisy of the Republicans stuns me, even though I know that I should expect no less.

    September 26, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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