The difference between the candidates paraphrased:
Barack Obama: I will be at the debate tonight, with or without John McCain. The American people want to hear me and my ideas. If the Senate needs my vote they know where to find me but I’m running for President for the 95% of Americans who will get a tax cut when I’m President. So I will debate with myself tonight and show the American people I believe in change and tell them how I hope to change America.
John McCain: The American people want to see a debate and I will debate Senator Obama after this crisis is resolved. If a deal is in place, or at least the framework of a deal, that we can begin writing into legislation and prepare for a vote tomorrow or Sunday, I will be at the debate. But until we shore up the economy, and restore confidence in the markets, I will be at my desk, in meetings, or wherever I am needed to work out these sticking points. I am working closely, in a bipartisan manner, with Speaker Pelosi and the majority leader, Harry Reed as well as the chairman of the Banking Committee, Chris Dodd, to hammer out a deal that will begin to restore confidence to American markets. My first job is to the American people as a Senator and this is no time for a debate on foreign policy.
Cynics (and the media) respond: Look at McCain’s obvious political ploy. He is playing politics with the economy and look, just the other day he said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. McCain should go debate that is what America wants to see right now with only 49 days left until election day. This country first thing he does is all politics, no one can believe in America that much. Besides we have reporters in Mississippi already, we can’t change our plans now.
Joe Biden: What I meant was—
(even Bill Clinton applauds Sen McCain’s actions–Good Morning America 9/25)