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Obama presses for debates

Barack Obama has said that the presidential debates must go on and brushed off his Republican rival John McCain's call for delaying the first debate scheduled for this Friday.

world Updated: Sep 25, 2008 09:56 IST

The Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has said that the presidential debates must go on and brushed off his Republican rival John McCain's call for delaying the first debate scheduled for this Friday.

The first debate in Mississippi for September 26 was supposed to focus on foreign policy and was the first of the three debates that the two candidates will be squaring off.

The Vice Presidential candidates Senator Joseph Biden and Governor Sarah Palin will be debating on October 2 in Missouri.

On Wednesday, Senator McCain announced that he is suspending his political campaign and returning to Washington DC to meet Congressional leaders with a view to coming to terms with the financial crisis in the markets.

The US Congress is wrestling with a nearly USD 1 trillion package that has to be cleared by the time lawmakers formally recess this Friday as a part of their target adjournment.

"I think the important principle at this point is to send a clear signal to members of Congress, as well as the country, that this is a serious problem that has to be solved and not should not be subject to the usual partisan politics.

"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," Obama said in Florida.

"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," he added.