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Friday, June 13, 2008

Talks Break Down Over Joint Townhall Meetings For Obama and McCain: So Much For 'Anytime, Anywhere' That Obama Promised

YouTube video of Obama saying he will meet John McCain, anytime, anywhere.

John McCain had proposed 10 separate townhall meetings between he and Barack Obama. Obama's campaign countered with a proposal for just one townhall debate style meeting and one extra debate (other than the three scheduled) together.
The talks between the Barack Obama campaign and the John Mccain campaign seem to have broken down after John McCain proposed ten townhall style debates and in response Obama's campaign proposed one extra debate and one townhall style debate, over the 4th of July weekend which would limit the audience attendance and exposure, to which McCain spokesman Brian Rogers called a "total joke".

"We fear that our negotiations over joint town hall meetings are turning into a debate about process," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis writes to Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. "That is exactly what we have always hoped to avoid, and why we proposed a town hall format that would render many of these process issues moot. As Sen. Obama has said, he is prepared to meet 'anywhere, anytime' for a town hall."

Plouffe responds that “it’s disappointing that Sen. McCain and his campaign decided to decline this proposal. Apparently they would rather contrive a political issue than foster a genuine discussion about the future of our country."

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis also wrote in the letter that was sent to the Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, "We remain committed to this idea because joint town hall meetings offer the best format for presenting both candidates' visions for our country's future in a substantive way. We have a chance to change the way presidential elections are run and elevate the political dialogue. Americans deserve this kind of opportunity, and we hope that Senator Obama will join us at town hall meetings throughout the summer months."

The Obama campaign responded, "Barack Obama offered to meet John McCain at five joint appearances between now and Election Day—the three traditional debates plus a joint town hall on the economy in July and an in-depth debate on foreign policy in August. That package of five engagements would have been the most of any Presidential campaign in the modern era—offering a broad range of formats—and representing a historic commitment to openness and transparency."

According to the new McCain Report website, "The McCain campaign is willing to go anywhere Obama likes, and anytime--and when we say it, we mean it. We'll have the debate in front of Obama's house in Chicago if he wants--as long as the voters can engage the candidates and ask their questions. Anywhere, anytime. "

Sounds like another counter offer.

So, what is Obama scared of? No teleprompter? No prepared stump speeches? He might have to actually answer impromptu questions without preparation?

You said anytime, anywhere Obama.... guess you didn't really mean it huh?