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It’s on: McCain attends debate

UPDATED:

WASHINGTON – Sen. John McCain said negotiations on the financial bailout are far enough along that he is restarting his suspended campaign and will attend the first presidential debate at 9 p.m. EDT Friday.

Two days earlier Mr. McCain, Republicans' presidential nominee, had announced he would drop off the campaign trail, pull his commercials and return to Washington to try to broker an agreement on the bailout. He proposed he and Sen. Barack Obama postpone the first debate -- but Mr. Obama rejected that, and since them Mr. McCain has been under severe pressure to attend the debate.

"Senator McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the administration, members of the Senate, and members of the House. 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," his campaign said in a statement announcing he was restarting the campaign.

Mr. Obama's campaign had said early Friday morning he would be on stage at the University of Mississippi for the first debate regardless of whether Mr. McCain attended.

Mr. McCain plans to return to Washington after the debate "to ensure that all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners," his campaign said.

In its statement Mr. McCain's campaign blamed Democrats for political posturing that is delaying an agreement on a bailout package.

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