John McCain vs. John McCain's campaign

The Republican candidate and his campaign staff offer conflicting explanations for why he came back to D.C. during negotiations on a Wall Street bailout.

Published September 28, 2008 6:16PM (EDT)

John McCain, to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, on why he left the campaign trail as Congress worked on a Wall Street bailout deal: "I came back because I wasn't going to phone it in."

McCain senior advisor Mark Salter, to the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller, on what McCain was doing in Washington to help reach a deal: "He's calling members on both sides, talking to people in the administration, helping out as he can ... he can effectively do what he needs to do by phone."

By Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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