With or Without McCain, Debate Will Be Just Fine

If McCain doesn’t show, Obama will just tweak the format:

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

In McCain’s absence, the Senator is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two, the official said.

Such a course of action could make life incredibly difficult for McCain, who has called for the suspension of the debate in light of the current economic crisis. Should he stay in Washington D.C. — if a bailout is not completed by then — and let Obama alone reach tens of millions of television viewers?

Which may be why Tucker Bounds is now declaring that, thanks to John McCain’s selfless heroism, bailout victory has been achieved and McCain will be at the debate:

Shortly before 2pm ET, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said on MSNBC that his boss deserves credit for the bipartisan bailout deal.

Bounds then apparently went way off message, indicating that McCain would attend tomorrow’s debate. “We’re going into a debate,” Bounds said, adding “I think we’re going there strong.”

Here’s a transcript of his conversation with Andrea Mitchell:

Before John McCain suspended his campaign yesterday, the situation that we’re looking at today looked very different then. After he showed leadership and called for bipartisanship, for us to partisanship aside and tackle this solution head on, here we are. And we’re going into a debate, I think we’re going there strong.

Video below:


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