WASHINGTON - The Republican presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain of Arizona said it was working with his Democratic rival to delay Friday's debate in order to concentrate on the nation's economic crisis.
At the same time however, McCain's political director Mike DuHaime deflected questions on why the candidate, former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, does not have his own plan to rescue the nation's investment bankers.
At a luncheon meeting of political reporters organized by the Christian Science Monitor, DuHaime accused a reporter of "baiting" him when DuHaime was asked whether McCain's failure to stake out a stand on the Bush administration's proposed $700 billion bailout plan might show a lack of presidential-style leadership.
McCain and the Democratic candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, are "both U.S. senators who will have to cast a vote on it." DuHaime said. The aide said McCain wants curbs on compensation for executives whose firms are rescued with federal money, more oversight of financial institutions and "protection" for the taxpayers. But DuHaime declined to elaborate.
Obama has not spoken out against the Bush plan. There was no immediate answer from the Democrat's campaign about the McCain proposal to delay Friday's debate.