Archive for Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obama rebuffs McCain’s call to postpone debate

September 25, 2008


Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

— The economic crisis and raw politics threatened to derail the first presidential debate as John McCain challenged Barack Obama to delay Friday's event to work on the financial crisis. Obama rebuffed the plea, saying presidents need to "deal with more than one thing at once."

The White House rivals maneuvered Wednesday to claim the leadership role in resolving the economic turmoil that has overshadowed their campaign. Obama said he would continue preparing for the debate and consulting with bailout negotiators and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. McCain said he would stop all campaigning and return to Washington today to work toward a bipartisan solution.

"This is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess," Obama said in Clearwater, Fla. "It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once."

But McCain said they must focus on a bipartisan solution as the Bush administration's $700 billion bailout proposal seemed headed for defeat. If not, McCain said ominously that credit will dry up, jeopardizing home sales, individual savings and company payrolls.

"I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time," McCain said.

Both candidates accepted President Bush's invitation to attend a White House meeting this afternoon with congressional leaders in hopes of agreeing on a rescue plan. McCain had spoken with Bush earlier Wednesday and requested such a meeting.

In a joint statement Wednesday night, the candidates said the country faces "a moment of economic crisis" and they called for political unity to solve it because "the jobs, savings and the prosperity of the American people are at stake." Both said Bush's plan was "flawed."

"We cannot risk an economic catastrophe," they said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., McCain's representative in debate negotiations, told The Associated Press that McCain will not attend the debate unless there is agreement on a solution that is publicly endorsed by Obama, McCain, the White House and congressional leaders.

Asked whether the debate could go on, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "My sense is there's going to be a stage, a moderator, an audience and at least one presidential candidate."

The jockeying between McCain and Obama began after the senators spoke privately Wednesday.

McCain beat Obama to the punch with the first public statement. The surprise announcement was an attempt to outmaneuver Obama on an issue McCain trails on and as the Democrat gains in the polls. McCain went before TV cameras minutes after they spoke and before the campaigns could hammer out the agreed-upon joint statement.


Flap Doodle 9 years, 6 months ago

Has Biden announced he's quitting the ticket?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

McCain is getting increasingly desperate. While the Palin nomination gave him a few weeks of positive spin for the true believers, that's waning rapidly as they find it increasingly difficult to keep her under wraps. Now this bit of idiotic grandstanding. What's going to be his excuse in the next debate-- that his grandmother died?

Flap Doodle 9 years, 6 months ago

Obama ran for the Senate only to give himself a springboard to run for President. The people in Illinois should ask him for a refund of his salary.

JohnBrown 9 years, 6 months ago

"McCain said they must focus on a bipartisan solution as the Bush administration's $700 billion bailout proposal seemed headed for defeat."McCain is needed to talk down those Republican'ts who believe in unfettered free markets into supporting a bipartisan bailout Plan. These folks are in a philosophical conundrum: they want 'free markets" to solve the problem that 'free markets" created, rather than take responsibility for what "unfettered" really means-- lawless.Of course there is no need to delay the debate to do this, especially since McCain invented the blackberry, he ought to be just texting away.The REAL reason McCain did what he did yesterday was to, again, CHANGE THE TOPIC. His campaign manager was caught with his fingers in the Freddie Mac cookie jar as recently as last month, non-partisans and thoughtful conservatives are talking about McCain's erratic behavior and how he is not making presidential decisions, and the MSM is noting how sexist the McCain campaign is in keeping Palin in a bubble.McCain is not putting Country First, and voters are beginning to realize that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

"Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama can debate economic issues more effectively on the Senate floor. "There are 100 senators, and 97 of them are not currently running for president or VP. Sure, McCain and Obama should participate in this issue on the Senate floor, but that doesn't mean they can't have the debate as scheduled.

Daytrader23 9 years, 6 months ago

This bailout plan does not need McCain present. After all McCain knows very little about the economy and Wall St. So now he thinks that Congress cannot deal with it themselves without his oversight. This is a very insightful leading indicator of what a McCain presidency would look like. And it doesn't look pretty. At least Obama has a REAL plan to get the economy back on track. Does McCain? No, he knows very little about the economy and what does his Barbie doll V.P say about this? Pull the string to find out.

sfjayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

McCain is too busy shooting an episode with Rachel Ray to debate Mr Obama. Priorities people, that veal piccata with the E.V.O.O is so delicious. What has Palin had to say about this mess? Oh wait, she doesn't speak to the press or the American people.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 6 months ago

The O'dude handed out around $100 million through the Annenberg Foundation to 'improve' the Chicago school system. There seem to have been no measurable results except for inflating the bank accounts of certain individuals. Yes, let's put him in charge of the whole country.

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 6 months ago

Did McCain suffer a stroke? Is Bush drinking again? I can make up bs too (though my money's on McCain's health being the real issue here!).

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 6 months ago

Is McCain worried about not being approved for a home loan? Photo-op for a failing campaign. I want someone who can multi-task!

zzgoeb 9 years, 6 months ago

McCain's campaign is about one thing...winning. If he has to shoot his dog, sell his grandma, and register as a Communist, he will. This is Rovian politics at it worst. As long as he ignores the issues, and hides from the tough spots, he will further prove his unreadiness to be the President!!!

Phil Minkin 9 years, 6 months ago

As president you have to deal with many complex, urgent issues that require attention at the same time. If McSame is unable to do that because of age, temperment or lack of mental ability he should not be a candidate and should not be elected. Bill Clinton could get a BJ and balance the budget at the same time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

Obama should go ahead with the debate, and invite some the of third party candidates to step in in place of McCain.

meggers 9 years, 6 months ago

If McCain can't help resolve the financial crisis AND participate in a two-hour debate, how in the hell does anyone think he has what it takes to be president?Not that I think he's THAT incompetent, or at least I hope he isn't. This was nothing more than a cynical political maneuver to try to staunch the bleeding from his sinking poll numbers. He doesn't even sit on any of the relevant committees that are working through the nuts and bolts of the bailout plan. It's nothing but a photo-op- one that's likely to serve more as a distraction than any sort of constructive contribution to resolving the crisis. Obama is keeping a steady head and displaying true leadership while McCain is running around like chicken little- after, of course, he so stubbornly denied there was even a problem to begin with.

stephenj 9 years, 6 months ago

kOOLaid:Sidney makes me ill.Sidney is out of touch.Sidney is obviously afraid of something. The American people can see Sidney for who he is. Sidney is a trickster and is using distractions to avoid the issues.Sidney Sidney Sidney.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 6 months ago

Barry, Barry, quite contraryHow does your garden grow?"A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.",CST-NWS-watchdog25.article

Potawatomi 9 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

meggers 9 years, 6 months ago

Snap,The article doesn't suggest that any quid pro quo was involved. Instead, it's another unfounded 'guilt by association' character attack. Obama legally helped secure appropriations for a project to reverse urban blight. His job as State Senator certainly didn't involve directly overseeing such projects or auditing appropriations. Hell, if every legislator were taken to task for appropriations that were later misspent by other entities, ALL of them would be guilty to some degree.

brotherskeeper 9 years, 6 months ago

Let's be honest... neither of these guys are golden. They are self-involved and self-serving. The truth is, no one would get to this point without being both. I am voting for the one that speaks what I want to hear... because it makes me feel better, not because it going to change anything.

Mixolydian 9 years, 6 months ago

Paulson, via CBS news, is reporting that only 4 republicans are on board with the bailout. McCain, as the putative leader of the republican party, is required to be in Washington to build a consensus amongst the republicans so that a bipartisan solution can be reached.The debate tomorrow is on foreign policy, something conventional talking heads believe McCain will win soundly on in a debate given Obama's lack of experience. McCain has repeatedly asked Obama for more debates and town hall forums. Obama has repeatedly refused. Who's afraid of debates? McCain never said cancel the debate, only delay a very short time. Even Bill Clinton has said that the liberal pundits are wrong on the debate issue and McCain.What's funny about this is Harry Reids smarmy comments earlier about "Where's Senator McCain in all of this? We want to know his opinion and what he wants to do with the bailout." Now that Reid's bluff has been called he and Schumer and Pelosi are just hysterically beside themselves.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 6 months ago

OK, the geezer's back in DC today. SOmeone please detail what, exactly, he did to move the ball forward. Anything?"Obama should go ahead with the debate, and invite some the of third party candidates to step in in place of McCain."Bob Barr. Remind the Republicans of a candidate with real convictions.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 6 months ago

Saddam Hussein Obama. I finally get it! That's why you like using his middle name! With a name like that, how can he be good for America?!

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 6 months ago

Didn't they approve a bailout plan? So let's see, McCain shows up... he asks where they are in the negotiations... his colleagues say it's almost finalized... McCain says, "OK, finalize it.".... McCain says "Obama didn't help out, but I did."... And he takes credit for saying, "Yep, it sounds like you guys worked out a good plan."... Then at the debates, he charges Obama for not acting more decisively on the economic crisis... "I said 'Yep' to the bailout plan that Congress produced, while Obama was consulting with the architect of the bailout plan and campaigning for president."

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