Sen. John McCain announced Friday around 10:30 a.m. he will be leaving shortly forMississippito participate in the first presidential debate against Sen. Barack Obama.
Sen. McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the administration, members of the Senate and members of the House, the McCain campaign said in a news release.
He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Rep. (Roy) Blunt (R-Mo.) as a designated negotiator for House Republicans. The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the senator will travel to the debate this afternoon.
"Following the debate, he will return to Washington to ensure all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners, the news release continued.
Chancellor Robert Khayat found out about McCains expected arrival during a phone interview with the Los Angeles radio station in his office.
I was delighted to hear, Khayat said. I just couldnt imagine how he couldnt come.
If Obama is going to be here, McCain has to be here, Khayat said.
When asked if he thought if McCain's decision to suspend his campaign and propose to postpone the debate was a political move or a mistake, Khayat said he thought it was a little bit of both.
Either it was to shake things up on his campaign or a mistake, Khayat said. We will find out in the coming weeks.
Gloria Kellum, vice chancellor for media relations, spoke with the Commission on Presidential Debates, who said they heard the announcement on CNN and FOX, but could not yet confirm if McCain was coming; however, the commission has expected the debate to go on all along.
A little after 11 a.m., the Commission on Presidential Debate confirmed the news reports.