Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) just gave a press conference responding to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) suggestion that they both suspend their campaigns, postpone Friday’s debate in Mississippi, and return to Washington to deal with the financial crisis. Obama said that he would like to the debate to go forward as planned because “it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once”:
With respect to the debates, it’s my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess. And I think that it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once. I think there’s no reason why we can’t be constructive in helping to solve this problem and also tell the American people what we believe and where we stand and where we want to take the country.
Earlier, Matt Yglesias made a similar point: “Meanwhile, I think walking and chewing gum at the same time is part of the president’s job.”
In a poll taken “immediately after John McCain’s announcement” today, SurveyUSA found that only 14% of Americans want the debates suspended.
,Joint statement on the bailout from McCain and Obama here.