Â Â U.S. Sen. John McCain, Republican candidate for president, and Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic contender, disagree on whether Friday’s first presidential debate should go on. McCain said today that he is suspending his campaign and returning to Washington because of the nation’s economic crisis. Obama said he and McCain agreed to issue a joint statement about the need for bipartisanship in responding to the country’s financial problems. McCain said the debate should be postponed. Obama said he thought it should be held.
Â Â Meanwhile, the University of Mississippi, which is hosting the debate, issued a statement saying it is moving forward with its preparations for the events and expects the debate to be held.
Â Â “At present, the university has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate. We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled,” the statement said.
Â Â Ralph Nader, an independent candidate for president, and Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s pick for the office, issued a joint statement criticizing McCain’s request for a postponement.
Â Â “The fact that a candidate can call for changing the date of the debate only two days before it is scheduled indicates how easy it would be for the candidates to also call for the inclusion of the leading third-party and independent candidates, which would bring fresh ideas to the table on how our country can truly tackle this heavy challenge,” the said.