Wednesday, September 24, 2008
United States presidential candidate John McCain announced today that he is suspending his campaign and sought to postpone a scheduled debate with his opponent, Barack Obama, to focus on the country’s financial crisis and says that Obama should also suspend his campaign.
McCain said he would be asking president George W. Bush to call a meeting for members of Congress in order to support Bush’s controversial $700 billion bailout plan, but also said that there is no consensus for the proposal and it will not pass in its current form.
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He called the crisis “historic,” stressing the need for legislation and warning of “devastating consequences”.
“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. It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the administration’s proposal and I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands. We are running out of time,” said McCain during a press conference.
Early this morning, Obama had called McCain and asked for the two to put aside partisanship and focus on the economic troubles. The two agreed to issue a joint statement supporting an economic fix, just minutes before McCain made his announcement. Bush is scheduled to speak to the people of the U.S. in a televised speech at 9:01 PM EDT tonight.
Obama responded to McCain’s speech minutes later, confirming that he would still attend the debate. He expressed a desire for fairness to taxpayers and an objection to rewarding those responsible for the financial crisis. Both candidates have stated that they intend to put politics aside to work on the financial crisis. Obama said, a president “is going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”
The proposal comes in the wake of Congressional hearings where US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have urged support of the measures proposed by the administration. Despite such appeals, both McCain and Obama have expressed skepticism over the proposed bailout, and the U.S. Congress has shown a noted concern that the measure may not benefit ordinary home owners as well as those on Wall Street.