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McCain, Obama turn down ABC town hall

June 09, 2008|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama said no to an offer Sunday from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News to host the first general-election town hall because the presumptive nominees did not want it limited to one television network.

Republican McCain last week asked his Democratic counterpart to join him for 10 meetings in the coming months. Campaign managers for both candidates said they had agreed in spirit to schedule some type of joint appearances.

But the campaigns rejected a formal offer outlined in a letter from Bloomberg and ABC News that proposed kicking off the series with a 90-minute prime-time broadcast from Federal Hall in Manhattan.

The campaigns said the candidates wanted the meetings available for broadcast on all television networks or online.

A spokesman for Bloomberg vowed to keep trying to find a viable format.

An ABC News spokesman said the network was open to discussing a wider distribution.

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