Obama wants to keep debate as McCain seeks delay

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Democrat Barack Obama says that amid the current financial crisis, it's more important than ever for he and John McCain to sit down and hold a presidential debate.

Republican McCain proposed earlier Wednesday that Friday's debate be postponed while the two candidates work to deal with the nation's financial troubles. Obama said he and McCain are working on a joint statement setting out their ideas on how to solve the financial crisis. But Obama also said he believes it's important to go ahead and have the debate.

Obama said, "It's my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess."