The regional spokesman for John McCain in Colorado accidentally sent the campaign’s internal talking points on the candidate’s plans to suspend his campaign to its entire Colorado media list, instead of a list of key volunteers, Wednesday afternoon, PolitickerCO’s Jeremy Pelzer reports.
The memo, titled “TALKING POINTS: SUSPENDING THE CAMPAIGN,” includes a list of points the campaign wants emphasized, and includes this warning from McCain staffer Tom Kise: “Please do not proactively reach out to the media on this.”
McCain’s plans to stop campaigning — and a proposal to cancel Friday’s debate with Obama — had already been widely reported Wednesday afternoon.
Still, Kise was surprised at his e-mail snafu, as Pelzer reports:
Told by a reporter that the e-mail had been sent to him and others in the media, Kise said, “F*ck, tell me I didn’t send it to the wrong list.”
Kise said the talking points were meant for McCain volunteers.
Among the document’s “Topline Messaging”:
• To address our nation’s financial crisis, John McCain will suspend his campaign and return to Washington. He has spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of his decision and asked Senator Obama to join him. The campaign is suspending its advertising and fundraising.
Obama spokesperson Bill Burton, clearly, didn’t get Kise’s memo. As TPM reports, Burton challenged the McCain campaign’s assertion that McCain “asked Senator Obama to join him,” saying it was the Obama campaign that first broached the possibility of joint action on the financial crisis:
“At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama’s call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details.”
Wednesday afternoon, Obama told a press conference he rejected McCain’s unilateral decision to cancel Friday’s debate:
“I believe we should continue to have the debate,” he just said. “I believe it makes sense for us to present ourselves to the American people.”
“Obviously if it turns out that we need to be in Washington, we’ve both got big planes, we’ve painted our slogan on the side of them,” Obama also said. “They can get us from Washington to Mississippi pretty quickly.” The debate is set to take place in Mississippi.