"I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Barack Obama and myself,” Mr. McCain said in New York on Wednesday afternoon. “It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem."
What was Barack Obama's response? Did you think he'd agree and actually head back to Washington, D.C. to do the job the people of Illinois elected him to do? Because if you did, you'll be surprised. Or maybe you won't, you see, I've got Obama figured out. Lookin' out for number one, that's our Obama.
Here is the full text of the New York Times article:
OBAMA REBUFFS McCAIN ON DEBATE
By ELISABETH BUMILLER and MICHAEL COOPER
Published: September 24, 2008
Senator John McCain on Wednesday injected another surprise into his presidential campaign, announcing that he would suspend campaigning on Thursday and seek a delay in this week’s planned debate so that he could return to Washington to try to forge a consensus on a financial bailout package.
“I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Barack Obama and myself,” Mr. McCain said in New York on Wednesday afternoon. “It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”
A short time later, Mr. Obama appeared at a news conference in Clearwater, Fla., and said that while he agreed “there are times for politics and there are times to rise above politics and do what’s right, ” he saw no need to cancel the debate, scheduled for Friday night at the University of Mississippi.
“This is exactly the time when people need to hear from the candidates,” he said.
He added: “Part of the president’s job is to deal with more than one thing at once. In my mind it’s more important than ever.”
Mr. Obama said that he and Mr. McCain had spoken for about five minutes by telephone on Wednesday afternoon, but during that conversation he said he was not left with the impression that Mr. McCain planned to skip the debate. The two men agreed in principle to issue a joint statement about the bipartisan need for a government bailout, providing it met a list of oversight conditions.
While aides to both sides said a statement was in the works, it was overtaken by a series of behind-the-scenes maneuvers between the rival campaigns. Advisers to Mr. Obama said they were taken by surprise at Mr. McCain’s call to postpone the debate and suspend his campaign.
The proposed $700 billion bailout package has met with deep skepticism from Democrats and Republicans alike this week. Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama — both under pressure to signal what they would do — have said that they favored taking some kind of action though warned that significant changes to the proposed measure were needed.
In announcing that he was going to stop campaigning, Mr McCain said that “it has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’s proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.”
Republicans, in particular, have been skeptical of the package, and are looking to Mr. McCain, now the party’s de facto leader, for leadership.
Mr. McCain said that after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Thursday, he would return to Washington to work on the bailout package.
Although Mr. McCain was the first to emerge on Wednesday afternoon and announce a change in campaign plans, Mr. Obama began the exchange with his Republican rival on Wednesday morning.
“At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal,” said Bill Burton, the spokesman for the Obama campaign.
“At 2:30 this afternoon,” he added, “Senator McCain returned Senator Obama’s call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details.”
Some Democrats reacted skeptically to Mr. McCain’s surprise announcement, charging that it seemed like a political ploy to try to gain the confidence of voters concerned about the economy.
“What, does McCain think the Senate will still be working at 9 p.m. Friday?” Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania said in an interview, referring to the scheduled start time of the debate. “I think this is all political — I wish McCain had shown the same concern when he didn’t show up in the Senate to vote on the extension of the renewable energy tax credit.”
Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who is leading House Democrats in negotiating the bailout deal with the administration, was dismissive of Senator McCain’s announcement. “It’s the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys,” Mr. Frank told a group of reporters outside the House chamber.
But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, quickly went to the Senate floor and declared Mr. McCain’s proposal "an outstanding idea."
“The threats to Americans, and their homes, savings and retirements, is not a partisan problem and it won’t be fixed with a partisan approach,” Mr. McConnell said. “Americans want to know that their home values and college funds and retirement accounts are safe. In other words, that the problems on Wall Street are not going to spread to Main Street. So I appreciate my colleague’s proposal and I hope that it is given serious consideration.”
For its part, the University of Mississippi said it was “going forward with the preparation for the debate.”
“We are ready to host the debate, and we expect the debate to occur as planned,” the statement said. “At present, the university has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate.”
It is not the first time this year that Mr. McCain has sought to suspend the campaign. When the Republicans gathered in St. Paul at the beginning of the month, Mr. McCain suspended the first day of the party’s national convention because of concerns about Hurricane Gustav, which was bearing down on the Gulf.
Nor is it the first surprise to come from the McCain campaign. Earlier this month, the Arizona Republican stunned the political world by selecting Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his vice presidential running mate.
Both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama have said that action must be taken to bring the economy out of a tailspin, but have urged greater oversight built into the proposal, to monitor how the Treasury Department plans to use taxpayer money to take distressed assets off the hands of failing financial firms, as well as guarantees that taxpayer money is not used to enrich Wall Street executives.
Mr. McCain made the call after spending more than an hour preparing for Friday’s debate at the Morgan Library and Museum — which, by coincidence, is where J. Pierpont Morgan bailed the country out of the great financial panic of 1907 by locking the leading bankers of the day in his library and forcing them to come up with a rescue plan.
Speaking to a small pool of reporters at his hotel in midtown Manhattan, Mr. McCain read his statement from a Teleprompter, and took no questions.
He also canceled a planned appearance on “Late Night With David Letterman.”
Mr. McCain has sometimes sent mixed signals about the bailout package. He struck a negative tone Monday in Scranton, Pa., warning, “We won’t solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight.”
On Tuesday he continued to press for changes to the proposal, but sounded a more urgent note that something must be done, declaring in Michigan that “further inaction is simply not an option.”
The fiscal crisis has put both candidates in a tremendously uncomfortable position — torn between an unpopular plan to use $700 billion in taxpayer funds to bail out Wall Street firms, or to risk what the Bush administration warns would be a widening financial crisis that could wipe out the savings of retirees, make it difficult to secure mortgages or college loans, and send the economy into a downward spiral.
So the Dems and the liberal media are sticking with the idea that the debate and campaigning should go forward. Obama sticking true to form, not showing up to vote, debate or do his job. Maybe they haven't noticed we're in an economic crisis unlike anything we've faced since the Great Depression. I guess the Obamas would be okay if millions upon millions of Americans were out of work and hungry. Me? Not so much.
I express admiration for the choice John McCain made today. The debate on Friday is one that Obama was weak on and McCain was strong on. Maybe this is the only way Obama can win, if John McCain is to busy trying to rescue the economy to show up and trade barbs with him. Perhaps Obama should have thought of that before he decided to eschew his responsibility and pretend that he somehow could win Friday's debate. War on terror, foreign relations . . . not your strong points, Obama.
Let's face facts, the American people pay no attention to debates. Oh they listen, they express opinions, but they don't vote for the clear cut winners. If they did, we'd have a Romney/Palin ticket, not a McCain/Palin ticket. But that is beside the point. It is my opinion Senator John McCain made the right choice to return to Washington, D.C. to facilitate a resolution to the "bail out" option which has increasing opposition from both sides of the political spectrum. The oversight is weak, the plan is poor and placing $700,000,000,000 in the hands of one man is just plain crazy. But . . . it does have to be fixed and move forward with proper oversight and dispersement of the funds.
Senator McCain can do more good for the American people in Washington, D.C. this weekend. And as was so glibly asked "do you think the Senate will work through the weekend?" Yeah, that's exactly what I expect. It's not the time for them to waltz off to the Hamptons, to their yachts, to their playgrounds and play while the freakin' U.S. economy is crumbling around our ears. We aren't Rome and they are not a collective Nero. I absolutely do expect someone to lock them in the Senate, and the Congress in the House until a solution has been reached. I'm just positive once they aren't allowed to go home I'm sure they'll find a solution.
So if the Presidential debate goes forward on Friday, I say "Boo on Barack Obama." We're supposed to vote for you when you can't even be bothered to return to your job and do it?" Yeah, I don't think so. Just one more reason to not vote for you, not that I needed another. All the others were good enough.
This blog supports the McCain/Palin ticket. And yes, Sarah Palin made the difference for me. This blog supports the war on terror. This blog supports America. This blog supports the American military. And this blog is Candace E. Salima.