Banking Committee, Reid really asked McCain & Obama to join them?

On Wednesday evening I watched Chris Matthews interview Orrin Hatch. I understood Hatch to say as a representative of the Banking Committee that they were asking McCain and Obama to come help the committee work on the so-called bailout, and that Harry Reid and others were asking for the same thing.

Is that really what the committee and Reid have asked the candidates to do?

The Banking Committee does indeed have jurisdiction over the issue. Niether McCain nor Obama are members of the committee. President Bush and Senator Tom Coburn have suggested to McCain and Obama to return to Washington to weigh in on the negotiations. Senator Reid has said that having McCain and Obama return to DC and join the negotiations would inject presidential politics into the agreement, and therefore “would not be helpful.”

I’m trying to find a transcript of what Hatch said, and can’t make much sense of how the site is arranged, but I found this account of the interview and of Reid’s position, including other comments I remember but not the one about the committee wanting the candidate’s participation:

But Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, welcomed MCCain’s offer.

“This is the John McCain I know,” Hatch said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “He is willing to risk [the] election to do what’s right for the country.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., meanwhile, said McCain’s and Obama’s presence during congressional negotiations over a rescue package would “not be helpful at this time,” saying they would be a distraction.

“We need leadership, not a campaign photo op,” Reid said. “If there were ever a time for both candidates to hold a debate before the American people about this serious challenge, it is now.”

Now, I don’t have an immediate cite for this, but I could swear on my father’s grave that I saw a quote from Reid where he claimed that McCain’s presence would be very helpful not a few days ago.