I’m trying to find a transcript of what Hatch said, and can’t make much sense of how the MSNBC.com 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.”