Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, talks to the press in New York on Sept 24 2008.
Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, talks to the press in New York on Sept 24 2008.
Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, talks to the press in New York on Sept 24 2008.

McCain halts campaign to focus on economy

Republican John McCain said he is suspending his campaign and returning to Washington to focus on the roiling US financial crisis.

WASHINGTON // Republican John McCain said he is suspending his campaign and will return to Washington to focus on the roiling US financial crisis. He said he asked Democratic opponent Barack Obama to join him in the nation's capital and to agree to a delay in Friday's first presidential debate. Mr Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, quickly responded, saying that Mr McCain made his announcement unilaterally moments after agreeing to joint action by both candidates that was initiated by Mr Obama in a personal phone call to Mr McCain earlier yesterday.

"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," Mr Burton said. "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."

Mr McCain warned of dire consequences if Congress did not act quickly even the US House of Representatives and Senate were struggling to find agreement on a US$700 billion (about Dh2.5trillion) bailout package sent to Capitol Hill this week by the Bush administration. "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," Mr McCain said in New York City.

It was not immediately clear if Mr Obama had agreed to delay the first debate, slated for Friday at the University of Mississippi. With an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll showing nearly one-fifth of Americans undecided or willing to change their minds, Obama and McCain face a major hurdle in convincing the public they are best able to deal with financial worries as deep as any since 1932, when the country turned to the leadership of Franklin D Roosevelt in the Great Depression.

Early yesterday, he met with a panel of business executives to discuss the bailout. They included former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney, his one-time rival for the Republican nomination, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. He renewed his insistence that the bailout deal should have greater transparency, oversight and CEO accountability to make it acceptable to voters.

Yesterday, Mr Obama held a major rally in Florida where he was spending most of his time closeted with aides in preparation for Friday's presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy.

* AP

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National