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. Mike

    Obama for president of Iran 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Clintons overpayed their taxes by 10% in line with Hillary's stance on reducing tax breaks for the rich. Obama took advantage of every tax break even though he claims he is for removing this tax break too.

    The Clintons gave 10% of their income to charities like the Nelson Mandella fund. Obama gave $20k a year to his church under Rev. Wright that visits Lybia with Farakhan and preaches America is at fault for 9/11.

    We see where Obama puts his money.

    April 11, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Doug in Orlando, Fla

    Then why vote for Obama? How bout this hit from march, "I wasn't in the pews when there was controversal statements made at trinity". Or how bout this knee jerking tune from april, "if it would have happened in my campaign I would have fired him"...hello nafta gate...did Obama fire his finance man...no. OH wait, he's the top hit ..."I promise to take public financing if the nominee"...or wait I'm not finished yet...."Toney Rezko only raised about $50,000.00 for me"....then he finally confessed after media pressure its was more like $250,000.00 wow big difference huh.....So you see your man is no different from anyone else....get over it Obamabots.

    April 11, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Mary, VA

    That's a good sign that John knows that Barack will be the nominee.

    It is a little too early because Barack doesn't have the nominee, yet. But he will.

    Obama 08

    April 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. pa voter

    obama, obama, obama.......lies lies lies. You said one thing, now another. what else is new. and to think hillary gets a lot of crap for this. and why doesn't someone check into some of these big donors?? then no one would vote for obama. i am a democrat, but will vote republican rather than vote for obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    Scared of Obama's fundraising, arn't you John?
    Well let me play a little violin for you....

    April 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Brian

    This financing has more holes than Swiss cheese, that's why McCain already broke HIS promise in the primaries!

    April 11, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. andrea, Illinois

    Well, obviously McCain has some money raising problems! I understand where he's coming from, but let's be realistic. Obama should take advantage of his wide supporting base. He would be a fool not too!!!

    Just tell your wife to sell a bit more beer....

    April 11, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Nell, MI

    Where are the Republicans–they have money. Get your money from them.

    I'm just praying that John will keep talking about Bush's war, right up until November. Keep talking war, John. I'm lovin' it. If Afghanistan and Iraq isn't enough, throw in Iran, then maybe Korea, then maybe China. Just keep beating those drums.

    Obama 08

    April 11, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. jeremy

    i'd say that having over 1million people contribute to your campaign IS public funding.

    OBAMA 2008

    April 11, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. MJG, Colorado

    McCain is a very sleazy candidate. First he broke the FEC Election Financing Rules by using pulic money ($4, 000,000) to secure a bank loan to finance his primary campaigns and then return the public funds. That is punishable under election laws.

    This same McCain then turns around and calls Obama to accept public funding when he himself did not accept public funding!!!!!!

    He is just afraid that Obama will best him in campaign money come November

    MJG

    April 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Shamile

    Give your money to Obama – that way we black people can take over this country! This is great – white people voting for a black man and we have almost made it into the WHITE house. it makes me laugh that white people dont even see what they are doing and we will RULE this country when Obama wins.

    So please my brothers give your money to Obama so black people can finally dominate white people!

    April 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Tjaye

    Hmmm...a candidate who is NOT taking tax money for his own benefit??? I'm thinking this is a good thing.

    What fool doesn't see that McCain is trying to limit Obama because of his inability to raise enough money to compete.

    Don't hate him because he is organized, innovative, smart and winning!!

    Obama '08

    April 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Mace

    Hello CNN,
    Did NOT Obama say that he would accept public financing IF and WHEN he won the democratic nomination and ONLY IF the Republican nominee agreed to do the same? Hello...old news.

    April 11, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Joe

    Either chose 84 million or over 250 million? Simple answer if you ask me. McCain, let's debate over policy issues not how much people can spend on negative ads.

    April 11, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. Sante

    OBAMA IS A FALS PRIMADONA, SOCIALIST!
    SHOW OFF!
    NOVEMBER, THERE IS NO CHANCE FOR YOU, PAPET!

    April 11, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. Bernice

    THAT'S ONLY BECAUSE HE TRIED TO GET OUT OF THIS DEAL, BUT COULDN'T NOW HE'S MAD AND WORRIED BECAUSE OBAMA HAS AND WILL RAISE MORE MONEY THAN HIM.

    April 11, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. Vets against Obama

    Hey Obama supports, Agreements are Agreements. Remember Florida and Michigan?

    April 11, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. Elder

    Read MSNBC about Obama big donors. Obama is a crock.

    April 11, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Scotty in the Midwest

    Isn't raising money over the Internet open to every candidate? Hmmm... Is Obama doing something that is unavailable to other candidates, including McCain? I find it disingenuous
    and laughable coming from McCain. A "fiscal" conservative such as McCain would "prefer" to lean on tax payer money. Come on. I laud his charge and efforts on campaign reform but find his position an oxymoron – campaigning as a Conservative using tax payer money. Maybe he's a little "c" conservative.

    How can any fiscally conservative Republican, Democrat, or Independent honestly say we should stick to funding campaigns with tax payer dollars instead of opting for a new way that keeps the fundraising donations private and away from major lobbies.

    Let's keep the "straight talk" straight and let me keep my hard earned money.

    April 11, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Over Obama

    The Biggest Loser: Not Obama. But every American who believed in him when more of his truths come out.

    April 11, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. CHERYL

    DOES THIS SURPRISE ANYONE?..........................................................

    OBAMA ALWAYS SAYS ONE THING AND THEN DOES ANOTHER!!!!!!!

    HE LIES AND TALKS VERY NASTY ABOUT THE VERY PEOPLE THAT HE WANTS VOTES FROM!!!!!

    HE BLOCKS PEOPLES VOTES!!!!!!

    NOT PRESIDENTIAL!!!!!!!

    WELL MR. OBAMA YOU WILL NOT GET MY VOTE!!!!!!

    I AM VOTING FOR HILLARY!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Dems2008

    I don't blame him. He can rase much more on the Internet. The earlier 'pledge' was not a committment.

    April 11, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Kevin in DC

    Yeah, the system currently sucks. I NEVER check that box on the tax return; I only contribute to specific candidates.

    Why would ANYONE donate to any random political figure? That's democratic suicide. Better join the 21st century, McCain, or you're toast.

    April 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. merle 7

    Maybe Obama doesn't want to be tied down with the limits that comes with it. If the average americans are excited enough to fund his campaign what's wrong with that. Sounds like jealousy to me.

    April 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Tom

    As an Obama supporter, I hope he does accept public financing and beats McCain anyway.

    April 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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