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

McCain hits Obama on public financing commitment


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/11/art.mccain.ap.jpg caption="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.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    As an Obama supporter who has made multiple small donations, i hope that he does not use public financing, regardless of what he said over a year ago. If McCain is so worried about year-old commitments, he should hold Bush to his commitments in terms of finding Bin Laden "to the gates of Hell" and bringing our troops home. That is a far more important commitment to me than public financing!!!

    April 11, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Craig in Texas Democrat and supporter for Obama

    McCain scared of Obama deep pockets lol!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Julia

    So now it is going to come down to who will best serve the big corporations and the ultra rich. Who are they going to buy to do their bidding to make them richer and the rest of us poorer; McCain or Obama?

    April 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Bhasker

    Obama will raise 500 million for general election, he can spend 20 million in each state.

    April 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. HD

    McCain......Obama raised a ton of money from average Americans like myself and he will use those millions to win the White House in November.

    You have been fundraising since Huckabee dropped out several weeks ago. You should continue to raise money to attempt to catch up.

    April 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. BSDhaliwal

    Obama is a liar and do not stand up for any thing.

    He just follow Hillary and say the same thing she said but after one week.

    April 11, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Yvonne

    Tell McCain, that he can use his 84 million plus Obama's 84 million because we the people are going to support Barack in the general election and help to raise 5 times that amount!

    Obama 08!!!!

    April 11, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. HD

    McCain needs to worry about picking a younger, more appealing vice president. I want to see those medical records too especially with the reported history of 3 melanomas.

    April 11, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. m

    I think it would be a good thing for them to use only the public financing. Then all candidates are on a level playing field and we don't have to worry about where the money's coming from and what strings are attached to it.

    April 11, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Really? Huh? Really?

    Can we post this comment this time?

    Are some tax paying voters really gonna call him on this one?

    I'd rather have the money back that was given in public tax donations and let this new method of privately run-"Not"-special-interest-lobby-way-of fundraising be the one in place. How can any fiscal conservative Republican or Independent honestly say we should stick to funding campaigns with tax payer dollars instead of opting for a new way the keeps the fundraising donations private and away from major lobbies.

    Really? huh? Really?

    This is the audacity of idiocy to force public funding dollars on a candidate who has a way to privately generate funding without taking large sums of special interest donations. McCain to skip the fund raising parties and kick his Internet money machine in gear.

    Irony is a fiscal conservative is saying we should lean on public funds, tax payer money. Come on people.

    The goal is to remove the special interests, not fund presidential campaigns with tax payer dollars. Some people... I swear, if you showed them an open door they would walk into the wall anyway.

    Let me keep my money.

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

    sou grapes from McSame because he couldn't find a penny in a in a fountain so he has to turn to the tax payer to fund his lousy campaign.

    April 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Conservative

    McCain has no excited donors. Too bad he alienated the Ron Paul supporters, they seem to be excited.

    April 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Herman LA, CA

    McCain is scared that he is going to be out spent that all old fart. Take your 100 million wives and go and sell some beer.

    Yea you guy would looks just fine when you travel to third world countries and try to represent the United States.

    Give me a dam break.

    Obama 08!!!

    April 11, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Mr.McCain, I'm so angry at republican right now that I will beg Obama to take my money to defeat you! So shut up! Not too long ago, you cheated the public fund by iligal withdraw! don't think that I forgot that. Bye now!!!

    April 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain, if you can still learn and have the ability to retain what you learn, take a course in economics 101. You're gonna need all the learning you can get when you go up against either Obama or Clinton and this ain't no joke.

    April 11, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. jd

    Obama do not listen to McCain. You are doing ok on your own merit! You have run an excellent Campaign. Good for you

    April 11, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  17. jd

    Obama/08 Mccain please stop whining!

    April 11, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Jean

    The only thing I see is a CREAKY OLD WHITE HAIR Man.

    April 11, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I'm certain Senator McCain is simply envious of Senator Obama's ability to receive funds from the average American.

    April 11, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Steve

    These comments are all laughable, because they ignore Obama's pledge to use the public financing system if the Republican nominee agreed to do so. Now, Obama sees more money by reneging on his pledge, which makes him - are you ready for it - just like every other politician. No "change" here folks; nothing to see; move on.

    A pledge is a pledge. So do the right thing, and criticize Obama for his flip-flop, just like you criticize Republicans.

    April 11, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Alex H

    Your 'facts' are 'maybes'! Stop jumping the gun, McCain. If you want him to follow through, then get Hillary out of the race. Until then, he hasn't broken a promise and you're looking like a whiny fool.

    April 11, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Mike

    The guy is about to break the fundraising record in the midst of a recession and it's only April. His supporters are the ones who in most cases can't afford to contribute much to his campaign, and he's not even earned his party's nomination yet... I'd say he knows a thing or two about how to raise money and how to get the most out of every source.

    McCain is constantly criticising Obama because it's likely Obama is the one he'll be competing against. Obama is also a great speaker which is why both McCain and Clinton are constantly trying to refer to his speeches are 'rhetoric'.

    April 11, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. Jiddy

    I think Grandpa Mccain should just ask Obama how he is raising hugh amount every month than trying to twist it the other way.

    I am sure that if Grandpa Mccain is in Obama's shoes with strong fundraising every month, he would have been flip floping as he use to do with the economy and Iraq (Sunni vs Shiite). Grandpa Mccain has always been a flipflop hypocite.

    April 11, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. La Bomb ba

    Obama will say anything and McCain will point that anything out.
    Jive talk
    Not one original idea to his credit.
    Not one accomplishment except in his "civil rights" G*d D#%m America church.

    April 11, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. KOR

    Obama was fine with public financing until he discovered bundlers as a way to get around the limits of PACs. Now he lies about where he gets his money and wants to renege on his pledge to use public financing. He is a disgrace.

    April 11, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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