Cafferty: Don't cancel the debate
Nick Cargo and David Edwards
Published: Wednesday September 24, 2008

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Now is precisely the time for Senators McCain and Obama to have a debate, charged CNN's Jack Cafferty this afternoon. Furthermore, he said, if the ongoing wars are any indication, President Bush is not the salesman to pitch the proposed Wall Street bailout.

Cafferty asked: "Is he going to warn us about all the dire consequences if they don't do this the way he warned us about all the dire consequences if we didn't invade Iraq?

"With all due respect to the President, he couldn't sell snow in South Africa in the middle of July, I don't think. If this is another, you know, 'give us $700 billion to do with what we want because you should be very afraid that if you don't do it your world will come to an end,' I don't know how well that's going to play. He's done this before--he's done it for eight years. They've used fear to pressure and leverage the Congress and the public into getting whatever they wanted on a whole raft of issues."

While Senator McCain is suspending campaign ads and fundraising to "focus" on proposed legislation to bail out failing Wall Street banks to the tune of $700 billion, Cafferty said that the American people ought to hear the presidential candidates' plans and be able to gauge their capabilities to run the country. Part of this perspective can be provided by keeping the Friday engagement and discussing the issues.

"What I don't understand is this," Cafferty said: "Why does John McCain want to cancel the debate? The two men who want to be President of the United States, I would be interested in hearing them have a discussion about what their ideas are for leading this country through what is arguably the biggest financial crisis we've encountered maybe since the Great Depression. Why doesn't he want to talk about it?"

"[McCain] hasn't cast a vote in Congress since April," Cafferty balked. "He's not going to be working on the legislation. The debate is scheduled between the two men who want the job of running the country. I don't understand the logic of saying 'let's cancel the debate.' I want to hear what these guys have to say about what they're going to do about the problem that the country has."

"The public wants to know which one of these men is capable of leading the country," he added. "They'll learn more about that by listening to them have a debate about the issues."

The following video is from CNN's Situation Room, broadcast on September 24, 2008.

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