USA - VOTE 2008

McCain and Obama go head-to-head

Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain head Friday to Mississippi for a live debate, which is likely to focus on the country's economic crisis and foreign policy. After a week of political drama, tens of millions are expected to tune in.


Two-day limbo as bailout talks threaten to derail debate


The debate came precariously close to a no-show earlier this week when McCain suspended his campaign Wednesday due to the negotiations over the $700 billion financial rescue plan between lawmakers in Washington.


Citing the need to hammer out a deal to resolve the financial crisis, McCain announced that instead of holding the Sept. 26 debate, he would head to Washington.


The decision was met with a sharp rebuke from the Obama campaign, with the Democratic candidate noting that the American people “have a right and obligation to find out where we want to take the country.”


The two candidates did however meet with President George W. Bush and Congressional leaders Thursday. But the talks descended into a “shouting match,” according to news reports, sparking criticism that McCain’s decision had injected campaign politics into the delicate financial negotiations in Washington.


It was not until early Friday that McCain’s campaign finally confirmed that the Arizona senator would head to Oxford for the debate, since progress had been made over the bailout plan.


In a statement released Friday morning, the McCain campaign announced it was “resuming all activities and the senator will travel to the debate this afternoon.”


The statement also added that following the debate, McCain would return to Washington “to ensure that all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.”

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