Protesters gather on Wall St. amid historic White House meeting
Mike Sheehan and David Edwards
Published: Thursday September 25, 2008

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President George W. Bush conducted a historic meeting in the White House today with members of his cabinet, congressional leaders and the top two presidential candidates to discuss a Wall Street bailout package that Bush said last night was "aimed at preserving America's overall economy."

As the president met with Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and GOP hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)--who claims to have suspended his campaign to help move the bailout discussion forward--an informal, loosely organized protest made up of ordinary people angry over the potential cost of the bailout to taxpayers gathered on Wall Street itself with banners, placards and signs.

"By having this protest ... we can show these thieves that we're not their suckers," read an anonymous email message posted on a New York media group's website. "There is no agenda, no leaders, no organizing group, nothing to endorse other than we are not going to pay!"

As the White House meeting was still ongoing, a key Senate Republican emerged to speak to reporters, saying that there was no deal as of yet. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) had criticized the plan even before the meeting.

"We did not get into this situation in a matter of days, and we are not going to fix it in a matter of days," said Shelby in a statement he released earlier in the day. "Proponents of the Paulson plan are telling the American people we can solve this problem with a single bill. I don't believe that is credible."

Both McCain and Obama left the meeting, neither making statements or taking questions. Obama reportedly was to hold a press conference from his hotel later, and the Politico site said both McCain and Obama would appear on all three major networks tonight.

There was still no official word from the McCain camp as to whether or not the Arizona senator would show up for the first presidential nominee debate tomorrow in Oxford, Mississippi.

The Obama campaign has suggested that were McCain to follow through with his word and not appear tomorrow, the Illinois Democrat would conduct a townhall-style meeting on his own at the debate locale.

A series of videos follows below.

The first video features President Bush in his opening remarks at the beginning of the meeting. The video is from Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto, broadcast September 25, 2008.

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The next video shows protesters gathering on Wall Street. This video is from CNN's Situation Room, broadcast September 25, 2008.

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The next video features Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) speaking to reporters. This video is from Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto, broadcast September 25, 2008.

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