POLS UPDATE: The Colorado director of the McCain/Palin campaign, Tom Kise, just screwed up and sent the internal list of talking points about McCain’s suspension of the campaign to his press list (follows). Note to Tom: don’t bother using the “attempt recall” function in your email program next time, it just makes things worse.
In addition, the speedy distribution of these talking points raises the question of whether or not McCain’s appeals to Country First™ today were in good faith.
Along with many other red flags for the cynical, as the AP updates:
Asked whether the debate could go forward if McCain doesn’t show, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs replied, “My sense is there’s going to be a stage, a moderator, an audience and at least one presidential candidate.”
Their competing positions came after the two senators spoke privately, each trying to portray himself as the bipartisan leader in a time of crisis.
McCain beat Obama to the punch with the first public statement. He said he had spoken to President Bush and asked him to convene a leadership meeting in Washington that would include him and Obama.
Even as McCain said he was putting the good of the country ahead of politics, his surprise announcement was clearly political. It was an attempt to try to outmaneuver Obama on an issue in which he’s trailing, the economy, as the Democrat gains in polls. He quickly went before TV cameras minutes after speaking with Obama and before the two campaigns had hammered out a joint statement expressing that Congress should act urgently on the bailout.
And while McCain’s campaign said he would “suspend” his campaign, it simply will move to Washington knowing the spotlight will remain on him no matter where he is…
(original diary follows)
John McCain is proposing to postpone the first debate in order to concentrate on the economic crisis. He has proposed a “politics free zone” (pulling campaign ads and doing no campaigning) until congress has reached a consensus on how to address the crisis.
Tom Kise would like to recall the message, “TALKING POINTS: Suspending; The Campaign”.
Please see talking points on the suspension of the campaign. Please do not proactively reach out to the media on this. If you are contacted independently, please let me know.
Regional Communications Director – South Central Region
John McCain ’08
Cell: (303) 885-8915
Direct Dial: (303) 952-4696
Press Office: (703) 650-5550
TALKING POINTS: SUSPENDING THE CAMPAIGN
· To address our nation’s financial crisis, John McCain will suspend his campaign and return to Washington. He has spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of his decision and has asked Senator Obama to join him. The campaign is suspending its advertising and fundraising.
· John McCain is calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including himself and Senator Obama.
· John McCain is directing his campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until action has been taken to address this crisis.
· It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem. This is a time to put our country first. We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved.
· It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’s proposal. He does not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.
· Last Friday, John McCain laid out his proposal and has discussed his priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward.
· America faces an historic crisis in our financial system, and we must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy.
· John McCain is 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.