The debate is on; McCain agrees to participate | SummitDaily.com
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The debate is on; McCain agrees to participate

Republican presidential candidate, Sen., John McCain, R-Ariz., left, greets Democratic presidential candidate, Sen., Barack Obama, D-Ill., before Obama begins and after McCain finished participation in a forum on national service at Columbia University., Thursday night, Sept. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
ASSOCIATED PRESS | AP

WASHINGTON – Republican John McCain agreed to attend the first presidential debate Friday night even though Congress doesn’t have a bailout deal, reversing an earlier decision to delay the forum until Washington had addressed the financial crisis.

With less than 10 hours until the debate was scheduled to start, the McCain campaign announced that the Arizona senator would travel to the University of Mississippi. The campaign said that afterward McCain would fly back to Washington to continue working on the economic crisis.

The campaign’s statement said McCain is optimistic that there has been progress toward a bipartisan agreement. But earlier in the week, McCain said he would delay the debate “until we have taken action to address this crisis.”

“He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations,” the McCain campaign said in a statement.

It was a different position than McCain had taken Wednesday, when he announced, “I’m directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the Commission on Presidential Debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.”


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