Commission Says Debates to Go on

Posted September 24, 2008 at 8:13pm

The Commission on Presidential Debates today rejected the proposal of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) to postpone Friday’s debate so he can travel to Washington and help lawmakers craft a bill to bailout Wall Street.

“The plans for this forum have been underway for more than a year and a half,” the Commission said in a statement. “We believe the public will be well served by having all of the debates go forward as scheduled.”

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) said he planned to attend the debate. The Obama campaign announced Wednesday that President Bush invited Obama to come to the White House Thursday to discuss the bailout, and that Obama had accepted.

Despite the bickering over the debate, McCain and Obama released a joint statement asserting the need to “rise above politics” to avoid risking an “economic catastrophe” should Washington fail to act.

“Now is a time to come together – Democrats and Republicans – in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the American people,” the statement says. “The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail.”