McCain seeks to delay debate to focus on economy

September 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Republican John McCain said Wednesday he is directing his staff to work with Democrat Barack Obama's campaign and the presidential debate commission to delay Friday's debate because of the economic crisis. In a statement, McCain said he will stop campaigning after addressing former President Clinton's Global Initiative session on Thursday and return to Washington to focus on the nation's financial problems.

McCain said he wants President Bush to convene a leadership meeting in Washington that would include him and Obama.

"It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the administration's proposal," McCain said. "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 if Congress does not pass legislation to address the crisis, credit will dry up, people will no longer be able to buy homes, life savings will be at stake and businesses will not have enough money

"If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted," McCain said. "We cannot allow this to happen."

McCain said he has spoken to Obama about his plans and asked the Democratic presidential nominee to join him.

The Obama campaign said Obama had called McCain around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible. McCain called back six hours later and agreed to the idea of the statement, the Obama campaign said. McCain's statement was issued to the media a few minutes later.

"We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved," McCain said. "I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so."



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