June 19th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama decides to decline public financing

CNN

Watch Sen. Obama's announcement Thursday that he will not accept public financing for the general election campaign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama has decided not to accept public financing for his campaign, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told supporters Thursday.

WATCH Candy Crowley on Obama's decision

In an e-mail message, Obama said his decision means that his campaign will forego over $80 million in public funds.

In exchange for taking public funds, candidates usually agree to a cap on the amount of money they can spend on their campaigns.

"It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama wrote. "But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."

Obama has repeatedly broken campaign fundraising records during the Democratic primary season. Since January of 2007, has raised over $272 million.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, raised less than half of that, roughly $100 million, over the same period.

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soundoff (570 Responses)
  1. LQ ROCHESTER MN

    This is NOT a broken promise of staggering proportions!! Obama had said he would get together with the republican nominee to preserve a publicly funded general election.

    McCain went back on HIS promise to have public financing of his campaign, probably hoping he could use his supporter George Bush to help him raise tons of bucks. But he is not getting most of Bush's supporters to send him money. Meanwhile, McCain flip-flopping on HIS promise allows Obama, who has raised more money than any political campaign in history, to continue to raise money from mostly small-time donors.

    Shame on you CNN for not pointing this out!!

    June 19, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. NObama

    quote: YOU COULD JUST END THE DRAMA BY JUST VOTING OBAMA. IT WOULD MAKE THINGS A LOT BETTER FOR YOU AND YOUR MOMMA. end quote

    I'd rather vote for your momma...than vote for Obama

    June 19, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Marv...

    Thanks for not using my tax dollars. You are a gentlemen and a scholar. I'll decide how much of my money you should have. Great move, I hope McCain follows. This will save the American Tax payers a few pennies. Please don't tell Bush, he'll surely find away to waste the savings.

    Obama '08 & '12

    June 19, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Billy Pilgrim

    Good. Instead of the government giving $80 million to a campaign, maybe they can give some kids health insurance.

    Any Republican who is against this isn't really a Republican... (hint, hint, you're supposed to be AGAINST government spending)

    June 19, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Chipster

    Obama's campaign is publicly financed through small donations from people all over the country. Republicans have turned public financing of political campaigns into a mockery. They've done the same thing with every federal agency that has been instructed not to perform their oversight duties and alter facts in reports to suit the Republican agenda. McCain's campaign finance commitment only lasted until he needed more money. There is too much at stake for Democrats to allow Republicans to trick them into commitments that only the Democrats would have the integrity to follow.

    June 19, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. I used to be a Democrat

    THIS PROVES THAT OBAMA IS A LIAR AND UNTRUSTWORTHY.

    Why everybody else can't see that? Looks like you've been fooled... or brainwashed.

    June 19, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Foreign observer

    The elections financing system needs a reform. Something we can´t expect will come from Mc Caine.

    June 19, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Barack Obama the Peoples President!
    You are a brillant and courageous man.
    May the force be with you!

    June 19, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Bishop

    No OBUMA! LIES! LIES! – Hillary used the same tactic in Michigan by leaving HER name on the ballet. Grow up...

    June 19, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Michigan Voter

    What it means is that he is not going to be limited to 85mill that the govt allows...because he knows he needs to spend more then that to win!

    Axlerod = Rove

    June 19, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Scott

    So why is half the country backing a first term socialist Senator with no experience, a skimpy voting record and is anti 2nd admendment?

    June 19, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. CANT WAIT TO HEAR THE SPIN

    I REALLY CANT WAIT TO SEE HOW THE NETWORKS ARE GONNA SPIN THIS TO MAKE OBAAM LOOK LIKE A HERO HERE

    June 19, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Casey in Missouri

    I think I'll go donate another $10. It seems like so little, but put the 18 million of us who have voted for Obama together, and it's HUGE!

    Obama/Biden '08

    June 19, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Lucas, Nashville TN

    Heck yeah! John McCain... BRING IT ON. We don't NEED the dirty money you plan to wallow in! We can still beat you! Yes, we can.

    June 19, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Rebecca; Texas

    Wow, Obama not following through with his word. I can't believe it.

    I am amazed at the ignorance of his followers.

    June 19, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Melissa from NYC

    McCain is a hipocrate – he made a similar promise about his primary campaign and then broke that promise. The DNC now has a lawsuit against him. Why should Obama play fair against someone that won't honor the same commitment?

    June 19, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    He is a typical Lawyer/Politician who will get lots of Corporate and Union donations for access to him so why should he limit himself to federal funding. The Union Lobbyist/Liberal Agenda Lobbyist are as bad for American Families as any Corporate Lobbyist. McCain went to a school where integrity was taught and enforced (Naval Acadamy) Obama went to Harvard Law where they give you a license to steal (Law Degree).

    June 19, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. FL Dem

    FINALLY a true man of the people. Thank you, Obama! We're with you.

    June 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Patrick, St. Louis

    Well put, John Catholic-

    I find it hilarious that Clinton supporters, invoking the behavior of their candidate, now claim martyrdom. They endlessly claim that they were mistreated... by Obama, the media, the world at large... yet it was clearly Hillary and her campaign who went negative and eventually fell on their own sword (not planning anything past Iowa, not campaigning in caucus states).

    So now, the only word to describe Hillary supporters for McCain is "scorned." Scorned to the point that they are willing vote against everything that matters so much in this election (war, Supreme Court appointments, to name a few) simply out of spite. Congratulations, women, you're only fulfilling the ancient adage: "Hell hath no fury..."

    June 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Chryssa

    We've got your back, Obama. :)

    June 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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