Ignoring contrary evidence, Schieffer asserted McCain "suspended his campaign" because of Wall Street crisis

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

On CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain "suspended his campaign" to deal with the Wall Street crisis, ignoring evidence that after McCain announced he was going to suspend his campaign, his ads continued to run; his advisers repeatedly attacked Sen. Barack Obama on cable news networks; and he gave interviews with the three broadcast networks the following day.

During an interview with Sen. Barack Obama on the September 28 edition of CBS' Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer referred to the Wall Street bailout negotiations in Congress and said: "You and Senator [John] McCain took very different approaches to this. He suspended his campaign." However, Schieffer ignored evidence that McCain did not, in fact, "suspend[] his campaign." As Media Matters for America has documented, after McCain's September 24 announcement that he was going to suspend his campaign, McCain campaign ads continued to run; his advisers repeatedly attacked Obama on cable news networks; McCain gave interviews with the three broadcast networks the following day, and according to the Huffington Post, business continued as usual at 15 of McCain's swing-state campaign offices.

From the September 28 edition of CBS News' Face the Nation:

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this: You and Senator McCain took very different approaches to this. He suspended his campaign. He called for a big summit meeting in Washington.

OBAMA: Right.

SCHIEFFER: You stood back a little bit at that point. Now that this -- it looks like they've gotten some agreement, should Senator McCain be getting the credit here for forcing these people back to the negotiating table?

OBAMA: No. Look, here's -- here are the facts. For two weeks, I was on the phone every day with Secretary Paulson and the congressional leaders making sure that the principles that have ultimately been adopted were incorporated into the bill. I mean, if you think about it, those items that you mentioned at the top of the show, none of those were in the president's provisions. They are identical to the things I called for the day that Secretary Paulson released his package. That, I think, is an indication of the degree to which, when it comes to protecting tax payers, I was pushing very hard and involved in shaping those provisions.

But understand this: The important thing here is making sure that we don't have a photo-op session, because this is serious. We should not have been here in the first place and, you know, I think the critical debate that we're going to have to have between myself and Senator McCain moving forward is, how do we prevent this kind of thing from happening again?

And, you know, the problem with Senator McCain's positions generally have been that for all his talk about being a maverick and wanting to reform the system, he has supported, on economic policy, George Bush more than 90 percent of the time. His differences on other issues with the president he likes to tout, but they don't have to do with this fundamental economic theory that helped to get us into this mess in the first place. And if we're going to get out, then we've got to fundamentally change course.

Network/Outlet
CBS
Person
Bob Schieffer
Show/Publication
Face the Nation
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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