updated 7:41 p.m. EDT, Wed September 24, 2008
Was Obama blindsided by McCain announcement?
From Ed Hornick
CNN

(CNN) -- Shortly after Sen. John McCain announced on Wednesday the suspension of his campaign to tackle the economic recovery plan in Congress, his opponent questioned the timing of his decision.

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McCain, according Rogers, suggested that the two presidential candidates have a meeting in Washington "to lead a bipartisan effort to solve this problem" and that they both suspend their campaigns and hold off on Friday's presidential debate. Obama said his intent was focused on issuing a joint statement first.

But shortly after the call ended, Obama said, his rival appeared on television announcing the suspension and the subsequent debate no-show. "I think the only possible miscommunication that might have been how quickly there was an announcement and someone was on television. I think my assumption was that the joint statement would go out initially," Obama said.

But McCain, appearing on "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" Wednesday night, challenged Obama's claims that he supported a joint statement. "This is not the time for statements. ... I think the American people expect more of us. And I would hope that we would respond that way," he said. "We discussed that we do agree, and I'd be glad to -- to join in a common press release or statement, but now is not the time for statements. Time is now to act," he added.