History Repeating It’s Self? McCain Down In Polls Backs Out of 2000 Debate
From the San Francisco Chronicle, February 2000:
With new polls showing his campaign dead in the water among California Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain has pulled out of a long-scheduled debate with Texas Gov. George Bush, set for Thursday in Los Angeles.
McCain campaign officials tried desperately yesterday to put the best face on their withdrawal, even as a new Field Poll showed Bush far ahead among likely Republican voters in the winner-take-all race for the state’s 162 GOP delegates. […]
The bait and switch on the debate left the Arizona senator — whose favorite campaign line is “I’ll always tell you the truth” — wide open to blistering criticism from his rivals.
“Clearly, this is more double-talk from the McCain campaign,” said Alixe Mattingly, a spokeswoman for Bush. “Pulling out of this debate at the last minute is an indication that they’re pulling out of California, where McCain’s antagonistic message clearly isn’t working.”