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On the Trail / 'LATE SHOW' FLAP

McCain stands up Letterman

September 25, 2008|Matea Gold

Looks like the long-friendly relationship between John McCain and David Letterman is on the skids. The late-night comedian was none too pleased that the Republican presidential nominee bailed on an appearance Wednesday on the "Late Show" so he could return to Washington to deal with the economic crisis, particularly since he found time to give an interview to CBS News anchor Katie Couric along the way.

McCain was supposed to make his 13th appearance on Letterman's show, but he backed out late Wednesday afternoon, saying he was suspending campaign activities to focus on getting a financial bailout plan through Congress.

During the taping of the show, Letterman told the audience that McCain had called him personally to apologize for standing him up and said he was rushing to the airport.

"I'm more than a little disappointed by this behavior," Letterman said. "We're suspending the campaign. Suspending it because there's an economic crisis, or because the poll numbers are sliding?"

The audience applauded.

"You don't suspend your campaign," he added. "Do you suspend your campaign? No, because that makes me think, well, you know, maybe there will be other things down the road -- if he's in the White House, he might just suspend being president. I mean, we've got a guy like that now!"

Then in the midst of interviewing MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, Letterman learned that the GOP candidate was about five blocks away at CBS News headquarters, preparing for an interview with Couric.

Incredulous, Letterman interrupted his chat with Olbermann to show the audience a live shot on the internal CBS news feed of McCain getting touched up by a makeup artist as he waited to talk to Couric.

"He doesn't seem to be racing to the airport, does he?" Letterman said, shouting at the television monitor: "Hey John, I got a question! You need a ride to the airport?"

-- Matea Gold

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