Obongo backs away from McCain's debate challenge
By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Democratic candidate Barack Obama on Saturday backed away from rival John McCain's challenge for a series of joint appearances, agreeing only to the standard three debates in the fall.
In May, when a McCain adviser proposed a series of pre-convention appearances at town hall meetings, Obama said, "I think that's a great idea." In summer stumping on the campaign trail, McCain has often noted that Obama had not followed through and joined him in any events.
On Saturday, in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the short period between the last political convention and the first proposed debate made it likely that the commission-sponsored debates would be the only ones.