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. CHERYL

    OBAMA IS A DISGRACE!!!!!

    VOTE FOR HILLARY!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Ben

    McCain insiders said earlier that if McCain could raise money like Obama, McCain would quickly renege on his pledge to take public financing. However, McCain can't and is trying to score some cheap political points

    April 11, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Venus

    i'm a Dem but I totally agree with McCain. Obama has some explianing to do.

    April 11, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. I Pity the Fool

    McFraid knows he can't raise money cause his message comes with an acceptable death toll......... Stop the fighting in Iraq and fight the real terrorist in Afganistan........

    There should never be an acceptable death toll. We need to stop the madness..

    Vote Barack in 2008

    April 11, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. George in Texas

    Vote for peace.

    April 11, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Marcy, CT

    Hey John, it's called the INTERNET. You should try it, it's been great to us.

    Obama 08

    April 11, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. Tanya K

    Obama does not stand a chance against McCain. Obama cannot and will not be our next President.

    April 11, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    ..and what is up with John Insane McCain saying troops need to get more benefits such as college aid and similar stuff, AND THEN NOT SUPPORTING THE BILL THAT DOES THAT.

    April 11, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Tjaye

    Does McCain think Obama and his team haven't thought of the 527s that will be able to use as much of their money as they desire to swiftboat him? If he is limited to taking $84million only he will be left without funding to fight them WHEN they attack him in the general election.

    When will they stop underestimating this man?

    Obama '08!!

    April 11, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Joyce in Florida

    Well, Senator Obama has about 1.3 million donors? That is probably about a 1/3 of MoveOn.org members. Hmmm. Besides the big honcho who owns MoveOn, gee I wonder where all this money could be coming from. You figure?!?!? I don't believe a word he says that his campaign money is coming from the internet at $25.00 a pop. Do you think we are stupid? Come on now. Tell the truth for once. It is coming mostly from big oil, etc. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. GOBAMA08

    Oh Please John McCain. We don't want a baby in the White House. What a baby you are.

    April 11, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Kevin-Seattle

    Maybe if McClain promises to cut taxes even more that he will get a spike in donation. Good try McCain but the train is coming and you're standing on the tracks!

    April 11, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Bess Cannon

    All I can say is if Obama can't keep a promise he made early in the game, then found a better alternative, how can we expect him to keep promises he is making to the people now? Sounds like an Opportunist, some one that flits around looking for the "Best" thing for himself. If he becomes president and some other country or organization offers him a deal he thinks is good for him Do we have another Benedict Arnold here? even though, very bad for the US, will he abandon the loyality to the people to grasp the "better" deal for himself? Do we have another Benedict Arnold here?

    April 11, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. Democrats Are What's Left

    John McCain has simply misremembered that Sen. Obama IS being funded by public financing. It's called the AMERICAN PEOPLE! Go away old man! WE DO NOT WANT MORE WAR! WE WANT OUT OF IRAQ!

    KOR- You are a liar. Plain & simple.

    April 11, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Seattle, WA

    It amazes me to think how many people have been fooled by Obama. If the media did their jobs and reported fairly we would learn more about him. Look at his backers, Hedge fund companies, powerful lawyers and casino owners, does that sound like an honest bunch to you?

    I too want someone that can makce "change" in this country, but Obama is not the person to do it. Listen to his speeches, however eloquent they are, he has no solutions. He agrees to everything everyone wants. Obama is advocating pulling out of Iraq if that happens, I am worried about the safety of our troops, immediately pulling out would be dangerous for the contractors and for our soldiers. The other concern is with his so called changes, were will he get the funding? As usual with the democrats, our taxes will go up. Are we really ready for that?

    April 11, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. annie

    Just heard the so called columnist Roland Martin on CNN. That is without a doubt the most predjudiced, racist person on TV. If a white person got on TV and talked like he does, they would be shot. He makes the Black Panthers look like a quilting club. Now they are trying to make the small town America ignorant remarks made by Obama sound like they are Hillary or McCains fault.

    April 11, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. jw, canadian,ok

    Yo Barack – Are you sure you're ready to rumble?

    April 11, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. idahosa winnipeg, Canada

    this old man needs to be shown the way to a nursing home and not the white house. i believe that america still has the brightest and smartest citizens. they will not make the obvious mistake of electing a president whose days are numbered.

    its sad that they republicans choose this "papa" over romney and the pastor. can't wait to see them turn red when the poll numbers start chaning in november because iraq will be on fire again by then.

    am sure the iraqis don't also want a republican government in the white house this time around.

    April 11, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Steve in CA

    just another FLIP FLOP on obama....

    he has flip flopped here and also on gay right...he wants to repeal DONT ASK DONT TELL...which means we go back to the way things were BEFORE.....ummmm thought he was for change for the future not change to take us backwards......

    April 11, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Bob

    The fact is he made the pledge if he has even a shred of the integrity he claims then he should stand buy his word. So much for change in the whitehouse..

    We have seen enough lier's in the last 8 years and all this would prove is that obama is just a typical politician willing to do what it takes. The difference is the junior senator didn't have enough experience to realize his mistake before hand.

    Bottom line.
    He is just like every other politician the only thing special about his is the media coverage he was given. If the media would not have fawned over him for so long he would have faded away long ago. lastly commanding the free world is a huge responsibility and i don't feel comfortable with someone lacking in experience dealing with the challenges he will face taking on that sort of job. Its not like working at a fast food joint where you can learn as you go.

    then again i guess if pressed whether he actually intends to follow his word he can always just answer "present" as he has on other important issues. Or he will go back to his old "i opposed the war from the beginning" line and just keep spouting rhetoric without any substance.....

    sign the presidential nominee selected because of his camera presence rather then he performance, substance, or experiance....

    April 11, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. Justin

    Its so funny to hear McCain calling some one a flip flopper. He must be getting old because he can't even remember the last 8 years.

    Why are conservatives so afraid of changing your stanec on an issue anyway. Isn't that the sign of a smart person when they reserve the right to always take in to acount more and new information. They seem to think its better to decide as early as you can and never back down no matter how wrong you are.

    April 11, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. Rich

    The system is creaky and so is McCain. America we can do better.

    April 11, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. Now for Obama

    I can tell that he is intimidated by Obama so now he is just trying to pick and argue about whatever he can. I have noticed how Mccain wanted to warmonger comment rebuked, and in his favor it was. But I didn't see Obama whining when a Mccain supporter made and awkward and slightly racist comment by saying "You can keep your Tiger Woods, we have Mccain who is the real Audacity of Hope"

    April 11, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Csokas

    I can't believe the number of people who have to have this explained to them: The way Barack Obama is raising funds on his own IS public financing – and he doesn't even need the government to do it. I know I don't check the box on the tax form anymore because I want to donate my money where I want when I want.

    It occurs to me that the only people complaining about Obama's statement are those who don't do it as well as he does – a little bit from a lot of people. And shouldn't that be how it works: WE THE PEOPLE ...

    April 11, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Ca Native

    How much of Obambi's $200 Million has been spent on his fight with Hillary??

    Seems to me John McCain – who is raising funds for the General Election actually has the advantage.

    But yall obama-bots keep belittling Hillary supporters and insulting their candidate. What's that old saying....?? A house divided.....

    April 11, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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