April 11th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain hits Obama on public financing commitment

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John McCain hit Obama on public financing Friday.
John McCain hit Obama on public financing Friday.

(CNN) - John McCain criticized Barack Obama on Friday for appearing to backtrack from a previous commitment to accept public financing - and the spending caps that come with it - for his presidential campaign.

"He committed to it," McCain told reporters Friday. "So in direct contradiction to his rhetoric, he’s now saying well he may not do it. So facts are facts. Facts are stubborn things." "I repeat my commitment to public financing if he will, and I call on him to keep his commitment that he made a year ago, and not flip flop," McCain also said.

The Arizona Republican's comments are in reference to those made by Obama earlier in the day, when he called America's public financing system "creaky" and suggested it need to be updated in light of the rise of internet fundraising.

"I think that it is creaky," Obama said of the current system that is financed by $3 dollar check-offs in tax returns. "The amount of money raised through the public financing system may be substantially lower than the amount of money that can be raised over the Internet, which presents candidates then with some pretty tough decisions in terms of how they want to move forward if they want to compete in as many states as possible."

Obama has raised over $230 million from about 1.3 million donors on the internet since his campaign began last year. McCain has raised approximately $80 million in the same time period. Should Obama accept public financing, he would be granted $84 million by the federal government and would be unable to spend any more, according to the Associated Press.


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soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Christina

    Okay word of advice:
    1. Obama you're convincing me more then McCain is on this election.
    2. I Don't understand why McCain is trying to throw Obama out of the running. I think he is doing a wonderful job.
    3. The people want someone to help out the American Nation to become better,not worse. Contradicting is the same as lieing. Dont contradict or say things we want to hear. If you're going to do it, you are going to do it,but if your not, dont make up things you cant back up in the future.

    April 11, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. voice that matters

    Well I will tell you something Mccain, it is not illegal to except public finances. Maccain please focus on your own words and plans for the people. Both you and Hillary have to campaign with name recognition , but Obama is new he need money to campaign around the country. The public is ready to donate for him the do just that.

    Senator Hillary is looking for away out of her messes of lies, she want to find fault with Obama at all cost, even if she has to twist, spin it so that it will look bad for Obama.

    Shame on you Hillary stick to your own words.
    She will not stop at nothing.

    So what is wrong when someone said people are bitter that their jobs are being ship oversea??
    CNN I guess Hillary has paid you some money to portray this as an issues.

    That is not a lie and i will be bitter too if I lost my job.

    Thank you CNN the truth is bitter too

    April 11, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. mary

    Better watch out Democrats, Obama does not keep his word.

    April 11, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. larry

    Always whinning when somthing not to your advantage he only wants to play if he can win

    What ever

    April 11, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Felly

    In terms of boxing match with Obama, McCain is a feather weight while Obama is a heavy weight. No contest in the general election. McBush has no chance.

    April 11, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. gary

    OBAMA IS NOTHING BUT A SMOOTH HUSTLER. HE HUSTLES MONEY WHERE EVER HE GETS IT. YOU YOUNG O.B. SUPPORTERS BELIEVE HE DONT TAKE MONEY FROM BIG OIL COMP. ETC. YOU ARE ALL SOLD. HE CAN TELL YOU HIS - IS MADE OF GOLD AND YOU WOULD BELIEVE IT. YOU HATERS ON CLINTON SHOW YOUR MORTALITY. O.B. IS JUST A SLICK CHICAGO HUSTLER. YOU WILL NEVER KNOW ABOUT HIM ,BECAUSE HE WONT TELL YOU ANYTHING. HE WILL TELL YOU ONLY WHAT HE WANTS TO. YOU YOUNG ARE SO NAIVE AND HE KNOWS IT. HE WILL KEEP PUSHING THE HUSTLE ON YOU UNTIL HE GETS ALL THE VOTES HE NEEDS . HRC IS IN THIS RACE TO HELP US ,LIKE SHE ALWAYS HAS. O.B. IS ONLY IN IT TO MAKE HISTORY.

    April 11, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Jermaine

    OBAMA does not need to accept Public Financing. I am sure is Mccain had the ability to raise the kind of funds OBAMA raised he wouldn't be talking. It was OBAMA who asked the FCC if he could accept refuse Public Financing for the Primary and accept it for the General is he chooses. What Mccain do not realized is that OBAMA can accept Public Financing and still accept $$$ from poor people like me. That is why he has built a huge online machine. I am sure he will go back to the FCC and asked if he can accept Public financing and use he online donors. Mccain should be focus on raising Money, instead of hopeing that OBAMA accept the Public Funding. Mccain is so foolish. OBAMA just need to turn his Primary run donor base into a PAC and ask everyone to donate to that PAC. MCCAIN get a GRIP....OBAMA campaign is publicly financed and HE WILL WIN!

    April 11, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. White, Female Boomer for Obama

    You would think McCain would congratulate Obama for not taking public financing which is tax payers money! I thought good ole John was for spending restraints.

    Obama also said he would be for it IF an agreement was reached. I think Obama learned a lesson from the ballot in Michigan..play by the rules with these old style politicians and expect to be undercut. I wouldn't trust McCain on this one!!

    April 11, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  9. Bayou Joe

    All the money in the world will not buy the presidency for Barak.

    There will be a few idiots that vote because of a TV Ad or because the Unions tell them how to vote.

    But Conservative Democrats (yes there are some conservative Democrats, I was one of them.), Independents, and Moderate Republicans will win it for McCAin.

    By October the shine will fall off the agent of Hope and Change.

    AS Hillary said, All talk and no action. Not good.

    April 11, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. Yankee Dem

    Obama is just worried he won't be able to play on a level field with McCain.
    The Pied Piper of Illinois is reliant on his charm and ability to stir people up and get them to send money, like any televangelist would. He is the new religion, a fanatic's dream. And like a televangelist, he is all talk and no substance. He promises nirvana if only you will follow him. Timothy Leary must be his hero.
    I'm stunned so many intelligent people are so bushwacked, like 4 yrs ago. ( pun intentional )
    Given the choice between McCain and Obama, I'd have to go with experience over fluff...

    April 11, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  11. Charlotte

    What a strange word, "creaky" isn't that a verb. It is not a very good adjective. Antiquated would have been a better choice, I think.

    April 11, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. Dennise

    He's upset because he knows he can't beat Obama....

    April 11, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. David, Atlanta, GA

    Seeing as McCain used the promise of public financing to secure a loan when his campaign was flagging, it's hypocritical for him to talk about someone elses transparency.

    April 11, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. M Pinard

    Funding truly is a non-issue at this point for the Presidential hopefuls. Of course, accusations regarding money totals and sources of such monies will go on and on!
    The Democratic candidates will have the funding which is legally avaiable to them before Superdelegates and/or Convention decision time. Hopefully, they will have quit sparring over that subject by then and focus on more critical issues!
    McCain has enough (again, legally available) funding, and time, to prepare the way for November elections. McCain will win against either Clinton or Obama. -- Go, McCain!

    April 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. MD

    McCain's age and old fashioned thinking and style of campaigning is as crystal clear as Hillary Clinton's.

    If people of America want to contribute to Obama's campaign, then that is their prerogative.

    It's scary to see what kind of people are running for the presidency of this country.

    The primary process althogether too long. With the advent of TV and the internet, the candidates can have three weeks to campaign from their respective home states, and all primaries should be held on one day across America.

    In the meantime, McCain and Clinton need to chill and accept the fact the time for a young, energetic President has come. They should both pack it in and go somewhere and enjoy their retirements.

    April 11, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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