September 29th, 2008
02:22 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain defends campaign suspension

Sen. John McCain defended his decision to suspend his campaign Monday.

Sen. John McCain defended his decision to suspend his campaign Monday.

(CNN) - John McCain defended his decision to suspend his campaign last week to be on hand as Congress hammered out the details of the financial bailout plan that failed in a House vote Monday afternoon, telling an Ohio crowd that he left the campaign trail because he did not want to “simply phone it in.”

“I know that many of you have noticed, but it’s not my style to simply ‘phone it in.’ I am a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. I believe our leaders belong ‘in the arena’ when our country faces a challenge,” said the Republican nominee. “I’ve never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I’m not going to stop now."

Over the weekend, both McCain and major supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham used similar language in describing the reason for his choice. “John didn’t phone this one in,” Graham told Fox News. “You can’t phone something like this in. Thank God John came back.”

Democrats responded by pointing to comments from top McCain advisor Mark Salter, who said that McCain had decided to spend his time at home or at his campaign headquarters instead of visiting Capitol Hill during marathon negotiations over the bailout bill over the weekend because “he’s calling members on both sides, talking to people in the administration, helping out as he can. …He can effectively do what he needs to do by phone,” said Salter.

McCain also told the crowd Monday that he “went to Washington last week to make sure that the taxpayers of Ohio and across this great country were not left footing the bill for mistakes made on Wall Street and evil and greed in Washington," and that that Barack Obama had been “watching from the sidelines” as the country faces a growing financial crisis.

“At first he didn’t want to get involved. Then he was ‘monitoring the situation,’” said the Arizona senator. “And watching from the sidelines is exactly what got us into this mess. It was the lack of accountability and oversight that put your working families tax dollars on the line,” he said, repeating his charge that Obama had supported tax increases on the middle class.

“A vote for Barack Obama will leave this country at risk during one of the most severe challenges to America’s economy since the Great Depression. You see, when it comes to growing the economy and protecting you from the corruption of Wall Street and Washington, Senator Obama just doesn’t get it.”

The Obama campaign responded with another statement that again made an issue of McCain’s demeanor. "Senator McCain’s angry diatribe today won’t make up for his erratic response to the greatest financial crisis of our time. John McCain knows that the budget he's talking about didn’t end up raising taxes on a single American,” said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.

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soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. Doug R.

    Another John McCain LIE. He never suspened his campaign.

    September 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Anthony in Ohio

    I thought he went to whip those Republicans into shape? Alot of good that did. He can't even lead his own party let alone the USA. John McCain has just lost his marbles. Now he is going to look like the Maverick who gambled and lost America's economic future. Thank You John McLame.

    September 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Dealt

    Funny... If McCain is pro-bailout, as he has indicated, either he made no efforts to bring his own Republican party together or they completely ignored him. So, at best, he was totally ineffective.

    September 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. x-stteeworker

    This is why independents will vote democrat. How did he save anything?
    600 plus points- main street is next.
    look out america-

    Vets for Obama

    September 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Patricia G, Houston, TX

    mcbush...where is your pen... that tired statement and the Teddy Roosevelt Repuplican...shut up what you are not....

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. BrendaF, Mesquite, TX

    And yet again, another lie escapes from the lips of John McCain.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Janine

    I find it very hard to believe that McCain all of a sudden cares about American people. His voting record speaks for itself.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. simp

    This senator graham is a loser, he is brown noseing mccain trying to get brownie points now because he thinks this old man is going to win, LOL. Look mccain was on the phone at home because his old tired lying, nasty butt was tired. yeah he was on the phone alright, but he didn't do anything more than Obama did by phone. mccane did such a good job that the vote failed. what now, watch mcold timer tries to blame Obama for that to, too late he already did in Ohio. This man is the devil himself and all you repubs that vote for him is asking for worst goverment than what we have now with bush. Wake up people, mccain is evil and he is only looking our for the rich.


    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Joe Regis

    McCain was probably looking for a bail out but he did not get it.

    TThe repubs are doomed this time around.

    No where to run and no where to hide niether.

    Obama/Biden 08/12.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Doug D

    @Julia – more than 90 Democrats and 120 republicans said no to the bailout and yet "the vote failed and McCain is to blame?" are you really that out of it or are you falling in lockstep with Pelosi and the Democratic tripe?

    Sorry folks the democrats have been in charge during the whole subprime issue that caused this mess and now they want to sweep it under the rug while claiming they are "protecting" you. This kind of protection usually comes from people with very large cousins named Guido, then again those are the people that have always "been in bed" with the democrats anyway.

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. mark from NY

    i don't know why people are still voting for a liar. are they dumb or racist?

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |

    I wish McCain would suspend his campaign indefinately. He and Plain, I mean Palin are the WORST!!!

    The Replublicans are slacking with these LOSERS. McCain is way too old ("MeCane"), way too out of touch with reality – to the point that he makes ZERO sense. He sounds like Regan: "Well, Nancy and I ..." like he's going to tell some dumb joke.

    Palin is retarded. She is like Annie Oakley from Dumbsville. What happened to this Party?? They used to be pretty good, and it was a FIGHT WORTH FIGHTING. Now its just like Indiana Jones where the big, old, clumsy bad guy pulls out two archaic swords to fight and Indiana just shots him...

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. America will be free again

    I thought you invented the blackberry do you want to cacel that now?
    Since you dont use phone. You like to waste money flying there and do nothing just sit there for photo ops

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |

    CRYPT KEEPER!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. indy chris

    hehehe I'm kinda looking forward to this great depression. see, I know how to be poor. I'm good at it. now I'll finally be ahead while all the rest of y'all scramble to figure out how to survive =)

    September 29, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Call it what it is.

    John is mentally unfit to be prez.

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. barbara

    So, when are we going to hear that the VP debate must be postponed?

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. beachgirl

    WHAT DID HE ACCOMPLISHED BY THAT??????????.............. N A D A

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Winkzilla, Tucson

    McCain suspended his campaign to help his House Republican friends. These House Republicans are ideological extremists. They want more deregulations and tax breaks for themselves and their friends. Unbelievable! They are holding the American people hostage to their failed ideology. They hang onto their extremist views like harden dogma. They do not work for you, but for the same Wall Street bums that got us into this mess.

    McCain too is playing politics with our country as hostage.

    Time to throw these House Republicans bums out along with McCain!

    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Well, look at it this way John, you claimed credit for charging the hill and leading the calvary to victory... you claimed credit for the bill. Well guess what John, while you were charging, your troops ran! What this proved to the country is that you can not even lead your own party! How in the heck are you going to lead the country?


    September 29, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. MikeH

    Oh well Johnnie, all that posturing and posing just went up in smoke now that the bailout bill YOU said YOU championed just got voted down by 67% of the House Republican representatives.

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. MurphyMorseJohnson

    McCain's advisor, Mark Salter, has already confirmed McCain was on the phone and and home–what a Teddy Roosevelt Republican? McCain was probably checking on whether his Lexus's and other thirteen cars' oil changes were up to date. elite man of entitlement for sure.

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Republicans Hate America

    You are a worthless liar McPhony Im voting for Obama end of story!

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Heather, Cleveland, OH

    McCain's impulsiveness (such as suspending his campaign) is a scary trait and I don't think that's good to have in a US President, or any president, for that matter.

    Obama has been cool and calm throughout this entire mess. I trust him more.

    September 29, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. ANGIE

    Mcliar did not suspend his campaign and mcliar did not help with the bill THE REPUBLICANS KILLED THE BILL! so mcliar we the american people are not stupid or are some bush was voted in twice and now were paying real hard for it!

    September 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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