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

Obama decides to decline public financing


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. King of NJ

    We the Public Fund your Campaign sir so YOU are Accountable to us, the people not the LOBYISTS!!!

    DEMS 08!!

    June 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    To John, Catholic,

    I have to agree with you whole heartily. Hillary supporters will only hurt themselves and suffer more, by voting for McCain. By the way, that's fine with me. Just don't complain, because you deserve what you get. I hope you suffer so much that your heads fall off!

    June 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Seyi

    You people that agree with Schmidt's quote, please do a little more than re-writing of the quote please. Give us an EXPLANATION of the quote, give us EXAMPLES of how those words are emptier, backed by proven FACTS from PROVEN SOURCES, not just personal hatred and GOP bigotry and propagandas. Otherwise it just look like you have a hard time thinking for yourself or you don't know what the quote means and you're just following an ignorant herd.

    June 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. insanity

    awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We are 100% behind this decision. The republicans would manipulate the system to gain a financial advantage. This is why he'll make a great president. He makes decisions based on reasoning and logic. Not on ideologies.

    Vote with love for Country, Vote Obama..

    June 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. James in NC

    I say give all the candidates IQ tests and then pick who will be president. I say this because I know Obama will win. Doesn't the USA want a president that is intelligent for a change.

    June 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Jimenez

    Someone needs to investigate where this guy is getting his money. Maybe he can help bail out the DNC.

    June 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Heather

    The McCain people are trying to bring Obama down because, even with $10 and $25 donations, Obama's fundraising outpaced McCain's nearly 3 to 1. So what do McSame's people do? Badmouth him.

    Go Barack! They're just jealous that your message is resonating with people, and their feeble attempts aren't.

    June 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    Obuma uses this tactics as political agenda.
    I was a democrat and changed my party to INDEP..
    He hijacked the MI votes!

    He's an illegit presumptive nominee. I have no respect for him. He has no integrity when accepting the delgates that did not belong to him.

    June 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. jackson from Iowa

    He can change his mind. And Iam proud that he admits it and moves on.

    June 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Sean

    How can anyone complain about "Republican 527 Groups" with MoveOn.org spending millions to support the democratics nominee?

    June 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Christian, Tampa FL

    GOOD! People like me ARE public financing! I'd rather my candidate get his funds from millions of individuals rather than the government.

    June 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Charlotte

    I will write Hillary Clinton on my ballot. If it is wasted, so be it. I cannot vote for either one of the candidates who will be on the ballot. I hope Hillary does not become his VP, that would be the biggest mistake she could make. I am glad to read the single mom can afford to send Obama money. I guess our economy is better then I thought. I will not send any money to the DNC, Obama or McCain. I can afford to, I just choose not to. Let them, eat cake.

    June 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Ed

    Schmidt is shocked .......got ya...we will out raised you and whip you Celtics style

    Young Americans for Obama ...YAO!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Mike in Calgary

    McCain's adviser, Steve Schmidt, criticizing Obama for not taking tax money – while McCain says Obama will raise taxes!


    McCain says one thing ... and does the opposite!

    Another nail in McCain's Coffin!


    June 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Mike in Land O Lakes, FL

    Barak's compaign would be financed by people while McCain's compaign would be financed by his Washington lobbyist.

    June 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. Kelby from Houston, TX

    I really need to contribute to the Obama campaign

    June 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Mary

    Obama and his total campaign is so corrupt, no wonder he does not need publuc financing. He has received millions from questionable groups and peoples including terrorists, criminals and religionous fanatics.

    June 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Jim

    Ok I know it's not much but I'm sending this guy 5 dollars when I get home! I'd also like to donate to the democratic party I just need to find where I can do it. I've donated to Mr. Obama before, any little bit helps, whether it's 5 bux, 25 bux, or 125 bux or more, it adds up and we can show the government that they don't need to be controlled by special interests and lobbiests, we are willing to invest in our government and our own interests if need be! This is truly a once in a lifetime oppurtinuty, Obama is changing the face of government for the better, for the people!!

    June 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. Jennifer Wyse

    I am a 23 year old graduate student who is low on cash....but i will forfeit my "going out money" strictly for the purpose of donating to Obama's campaign which IS being funded by the Public!!!! Yes We Can!!
    Obama '08!!

    June 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Raymond Duke

    The media acts like this is a big surprise. Did you think that this man was going to keep his word. It hasn't been worth nothing yet. The media can make up that lie all they want to about individual donors, but anybody with a brain knows that is crap. He has some latta drinking liberals who have donated probably the max to his campagin but do you think that these college students are able to donate very much and you know as well as I do that most blacks are on the low end of the totem pole in making money. But you will never investigate it. I would say look at them individual donations being made in the names of people and you will probably find that the money is being doled out to people or made in their name by rich liberals, black nation of Islam in america and from Muslims countries in the middle east. Do you really believe that reverend Wrights church is a real church of christ. If you do you still believe in the tooth fairy.

    June 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. randy

    Well those people that says that obama candidancy is just words well i have on on word for you,words do matter words inspire on on nation and intire world so stop the jelousy and join the team.

    June 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. dectra

    As a former GOP member, I too support Obama. Why? When the GOP nominated bush as the best the party had, even I could see the train wreck coming. 7 years of total government control by the GOP has gotten us NO Immigration Reform. NO Healthcare Reform. NO Border Control. NO Infrastructure Repair. And of course, NO BIN LADEN.

    Why? Because bush is a poor leader who has at best a tenuous grasp on events in and around this country. Now we have mccain who used to be 'the mavrick' but who now has publicly supported bush's inane policies and has flip flopped so much he sounds like John Kerry.

    Then, of course there's Obama. A fresh faced, thinking, articulate person with the drive to change the country's direction, and actually listen to the people.

    He's got my money, and more importantly, my vote

    June 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Barbara Gooch

    By the way, what about the Muslum lady that couldn't sit behind Obama because she had a scarve on, does he have something to hide? hum,hum.

    June 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Bill From Florida

    If I am wrong, please correct, but didn't Obama agree to public
    financing when he agreed to run for President????


    June 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. CNN post me !!! OBAMA 08!!!

    I am glad that I along with a million other people have the opportunity to take part in owning a piece of this campaign which is truly making history.

    June 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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