McCain Suspends Campaign to Assist Bailout Negotiation
MCCAIN SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN TO FOCUS ON ECONOMY; WANTS DEBATE DELAY
Wed Sept 24 2008 14:58:02 ET
McCain: America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.
Last Friday, I laid out my proposal and I have since discussed my priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward. Senator Obama has expressed his priorities and concerns.This morning, I met with a group of economic advisers to talk about the proposal on the table and the steps that we should take going forward.I have also spoken with members of Congress to hear their perspective.
It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’ proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.
Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.
I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.
We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved.I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.
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.
Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.
The report yesterday by ABC’s Jake Tapper that both Democrats and Republicans on Capital Hill had balked at approving any bailout unless McCain voted yea may have in part precipitated the senator’s decision.
[Tapper] It’s McCain who may hold the fate of the $700b bailout proposal in his hands.
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And Democratic leaders have told the White House a deal without McCain on board will mean no sale.
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[Senate President Harry Reid] “We need the Republican nominee for president to let us know where he stands and what we should do.”
Senator Obama has declined to postpone the debate or suspend his campaign. From Reuters.
Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected opponent John McCain’s call to postpone the first U.S. presidential debate to work on legislation dealing with the worst U.S. financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Obama made the statement shortly after McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, called for Friday’s debate to be postponed and said he would suspend his campaign to help work out agreement among lawmakers on a proposed $700 billion financial bailout plan.
“What I’m planning to do now is debate on Friday,” Obama said from the hotel where he has been preparing for the debate.
“It’s my belief that 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,” he said. “I think that it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.”
Aren’t some situations serious enough to warrant the president’s full attention? Wouldn’t this be one of them? Further, Senator McCain did not suspend his campaign indefinitely; he proposed to negotiate a resolution with all parties by Monday morning.
Faced with such a serious problem, would a President Obama “multitask”, inclusive of tending to his reelection campaign, through a resolution?