WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- Campaign officials for Barack Obama and John McCain are debating elements of proposed debates, including the number of debates and their formats.
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the presumptive Republican nominee thinks Obama, his likely Democratic foe, "completely rejected" plans for a series of joint town hall meetings by offering to meet during the July 4 holiday weekend, USA Today reported Monday.
"Their campaign is definitively saying 'Thanks but no thanks,' and Barack Obama knows it," Bounds said.
McCain, the U.S. senator from Arizona, has proposed a series of 10 weekly events in the run-up to the party nominating conventions. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe suggested two pre-convention encounters -- a town hall during the July 4 holiday and "an in-depth debate on foreign policy" in August, USA Today said.
The two events plus the three debates sponsored by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates offer a package of "five engagements (that) would have been the most of any presidential campaign in the modern era," Plouffe said.
The Democratic convention in Denver is Aug. 25-28; the Republicans meet Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn.