Washington, Sept.26 : Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his party colleagues have blasted Republican rival John McCain for backing out of talks aimed at finding a solution to the current meltdown on Wall Street.
Aides and officials attending a White House Summit meeting here on Thursday said the discussion ended badly, with Democrats fuming at House Republicans over their refusal to drop objections to the administration's 700 billion dollar bail out proposal.
McCain, who on Wednesday announced he was suspending his campaign to work on the negotiations, was particularly targeted.
"Here's my observation and I think this may have been confirmed at the meeting today - when you inject presidential politics into delicate negotiations, sometimes it's not helpful. The cameras change things," Obama told FOX News after the meeting ended.
"It's not clear to me that having presidential candidates in a high-profile way in the negotiating process is useful," he added.
Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were more blunt.
"He's (McCain) slowed it down," Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said.
"The next thing we know, he's in a position frankly where he's making it harder to get things done, rather than help us negotiate differences," Frank added.
McCain's campaign countered that he merely called for the final plan to have Americans' confidence.
The campaign claimed that Obama's presence disrupted the meeting.
"The Democrats allowed Senator Obama to run their side of the meeting," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in a written statement released Thursday night.
"That did not work, as the meeting quickly devolved into a contentious shouting match that did not seek to craft a bipartisan solution," he added.
McCain on Wednesday also called for the kickoff presidential debate scheduled for Friday to be postponed, but Obama reiterated his position Thursday that the debate should go forward.
"One of us is going to be in charge of this mess in four months, and the American people, I think, not only have a right but an obligation to find out where we want to take the country," Obama said at a press conference. "My hope is that the debate goes forward and I intend to be there."
His campaign circulated a memo shortly after the White House meeting ended accusing McCain of disingenuously suspending his campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused McCain of saying nothing substantive in the White House meeting.
McCain, for his part, said Congress and the Bush administration are making progress toward an agreement on a rescue of the financial sector.
Senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer told FOX News that the disagreement on Capitol Hill on Thursday could have been expected, and it was that looming discord that prompted McCain to head to Washington in the first place.