Senator Obama is on CNN right now discussing his perspective on Senator McCain’s announcement today that he would suspend his campaign and wants to postpone the first presidential debate in order to deal with the current economic crisis.
I know this isn’t a news story that deals directly with our issues but in what Obama calls an "era of greed" and "financial crisis", many sexual and reproductive health issues will be affected. Using billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to bail out the Wall St. executives while leaving the mothers and children of the world without adequate funding for programs that would alleviate abysmal rates of maternal and newborn mortality is our issue.
This is Senator Obama’s account of what’s occurred today thus far:
Obama says he initiated a call to McCain this morning. Senator Coburn called Barack Obama suggesting that a joint statment might be useful and Obama asked McCain to join him in issuing a joint statement to:
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
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"…let the administration know where we stand because we agree on some broad principals: set up an independent board to provide oversight and accountability for how money is going to be spent; If Americans are financing this we should be treated like investors so we should get the money back once the economy stabilizes, and we need to help homeowners with a plan to stay in their homes, and the American people shouldn’t spend money to reward the wall street CEOs. McCain called back and we agreed we need to come together – I have been in constant contact with the leadersip in Congress, with Sec. Paulsen and told him I’d do everything to be helpful, to pass a bill that contains the proposals. There are times for politics and there are times to rise above to do what’s right for this country."
When asked whether Senator McCain was "playing politics" Obama had this to say:
"I called him this morning with the intent of issuing a joint statement. He agreed to that. He then suggested in addition that we have to have a meeting in Washington with congressional leaders and the administration. I suggested we get a joint statement out first to send a clear message to Congress that it shouldn’t be bogged down. When I got back to hotel, he had already been on television anouncing what he is going to do. But the important thing is we send a clear message that this is a serious problem that shouldn’t be bogged down by partisan politics."
When answering a question about whether the debate should be called off, Senator Obama responded:
"This is the exact time the American people need to hear from the person who in 40 days will be responsibile for dealing with this mess. It’s part of the president’s job to be constructive in more than one thing at once. It’s more important than ever that we present ourselves to the American people to describe where we want to take the country, and economy and foreign policy."
Let’s hope the Senators do not suspend campaigning or postpone the presidential debate. The questions – and answers – we have for them about how taxpayer funds are being used, and how we’ll possibly be able to fund critical reproductive health care programs that save women’s lives and health, on Friday evening are too important to wait for.