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McCain Suspends Campaign

Sen. John McCain announced today that he will suspend his campaign effective tomorrow, so that he can return to Washington to participate in discussions on a Wall Street bailout bill. He also raised the possibility of postponing the first presidential debate, scheduled for Friday. From Politico:

John McCain is calling for the first presidential debate, scheduled for Friday in Mississippi, to be delayed and urging Barack Obama to join him in Washington for a high-level meeting of congressional leaders to address the financial crisis.

McCain said in New York today that he is suspending his campaign tomorrow and will return on Washington.

It’s an extraordinary move, plainly aimed at appearing presidential and above the partisan fray at a time of great challenge. It comes a week after McCain struggled to find his footing on the crisis and as national and state polls show him slipping in large part because of voter concerns over the economy.

“I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself,” McCain said this afternoon. “It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”

McCain said his goal was to have a bailout package in place by the start of next week.

“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,” he predicted. “All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.”

d.

The Obama campaign subsequently released the following statement:

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. At 2:30 this afternoon, 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.

CNN’s Gloria Borger is reporting that a source within the Obama campaign said Obama would not suspend his campaign, and Obama does not see a reason to postpone the debate. More on this as events develop.

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