Breaking: Obama passes on public financing Update: AOL Hot Seat poll added

posted at 10:41 am on June 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama passed on public financing for the general election, breaking a pledge he made last year to accept federal money and spending restrictions if the Republican candidate also agreed to it.  John McCain offered to stay within the system, but in an e-mailed video message today to his supporters, Obama announced that he would renege on his offer.  The reasons that Obama offers are laughable in the extreme, and self-contradictory in several points:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday he’ll bypass the federal public financing system in the general election, abandoning an earlier commitment to take the money if his Republican rival did as well.

Obama, who set records raising money in the primary election, will forgo more than $84 million that would have been available to him in the general election. He would be the first candidate to do so since Congress passed 1970s post-Watergate campaign finance laws. Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee in waiting, has taken steps to accept the public funds in the general election.

Obama officials said they decided to take that route because McCain is already spending privately raised funds toward the general election campaign. Obama has vastly outraised McCain, however, and would likely retain that advantage if McCain accepts the public money.

One of the reasons Obama offers is that the McCain campaign and the RNC take lobbyist money.  So does the DNC and many of its subsidiaries.  Obama has lobbyists among his major bundlers.  It’s an absurdly flimsy excuse.

So too was the other major reason Obama cites in his video.  He claims that the Republicans have mastered the art of the 527, which has nothing to do with public financing.  Democrats have their own 527s, and in 2004 used them much more effectively than the GOP, thanks to George Soros and other big-ticket Democratic donors.   This excuse doesn’t even pass the smell test.

Obama then stares sanctimoniously at a point just above and to the right of the camera while declaring his undying support for public financing, which he proves by abandoning it.  He then declares the presidential system to be “broken”, but never explains why he hasn’t lifted a finger to fix it during his three years in the Senate.  Furthermore, the system hasn’t changed since Obama gave this answer to Chris Wallace in April of this year:

The calculus is simple: Obama feels he can raise more money outside the system than he can get inside of it. He wants to blame McCain, the rain, the park, and other things, but it’s the money and nothing more. It’s a dishonest attempt to explain away Obama’s dishonesty.

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I’d love to be a dem operative paid to post at hotair. Talk about a gravy train! Question: When has Obama stood by any specific position he’s taken? He’ll throw any position under the bus if it suits him. I have to wonder if he’d do the same for his principles. I wonder what his principles are.

Paul-Cincy on June 19, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Such hypocracy!

Here’s a man who wants to have government interfere in our lives all the way up the waaaaazzoooo and he REFUSES to accept government involvment in his campaign.

Can we opt out of government involvement in our finances Senator? Pretty please?

HonestConservative on June 19, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Oh and Nonfactor you are wrong…

Obama doesn’t have $200 million for the general election, he has $10 million- the rest had to be used for the primary.

Chuck Schick on June 19, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Ahhh, Soros got his candidate and immediately has him in his hip pocket.

MNDavenotPC on June 19, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Hope and change you can believe in because there’s no hope of change.

SouthernGent on June 19, 2008 at 6:24 PM

Ed, I’m looking for all of the above to select in your Obama poll.

I suppose that now Obama’s contribution sources can remain hidden. Correct me if I am wrong.

BTW Gateway Pundit reader linked a great read from a Santa Clara CA attorney, Steve Diamond, regarding Obama/Ayers reforming education in Mao’s image.

***from his blogsite: Global Labor and the Global Economy, Who “Sent” Obama dated Tues.Apri 22, 2008, updated May 3, 28, 24, 2008***

maverick muse on June 19, 2008 at 6:25 PM

SouthernGent on June 19, 2008 at 6:24 PM


When that motto debuted, I envisioned Dante’s Inferno the Gate to Hell posting “Abandon All Hope all ye who enter herein.” The Obafascists will play the contrary inversion game with every message on their convoluted stairway to heaven aka hell.

maverick muse on June 19, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Talk about a gravy train! Question: When has Obama stood by any specific position he’s taken?

Well if we are going to make this a race on who stands by their statements and past policy stances … then McCain has already lost!

Let’s face it, if the shoe was on the other foot you would all be saying how stupid McCain would be for not getting 3X the money over Obama!

Get real.

Monkei on June 19, 2008 at 7:12 PM

The RNC should make commercials with what appears to be him playing ping pong against himself. One side of the table he says one thing. On the other side of the table, he says the complete opposite.

Too late Doctor … the DNC already has two or three of these out on McCain on the NUMEROUS flip flops he has made on various “stands”. Just think 3 years ago it was bad to be a flip flopper … but I guess in GOP land it all depends on what you flip flop about …

Monkei on June 19, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Let’s face it, if the shoe was on the other foot you would all be saying how stupid McCain would be for not getting 3X the money over Obama!

Get real.

Monkei on June 19, 2008 at 7:12 PM

And if McCain pledged to take public financing before that money rolled in, he’d also be fairly called a liar whose word means nothing when enough zeros are behind.

Chuck Schick on June 19, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Take a peek at this image still I took from Obama’s fundraising effort, I mean these guys have NERVE lol

via memeorandum; It’s Time To Get Cynical About Obama

[…]Yet in perhaps the most craven act of his campaign to date, in selling out his deeply held progressive principles, he tries to spin his sell out as an example of him standing up for those very principles. Obama released a video on his website saying that the public financing system is broken, and the video is embedded to a fundraising form prompting potential donors to, “Declare Your Independence from a Broken System” by giving him money. (This is the same Obama who told Larry King last February, “the presidential public financing system works.”)

Chicago Style baby! unreal..

saus on June 19, 2008 at 8:28 PM

Oh yeah, I think that image of Obama with a juicy “Declare Your Independence from a Broken System” is smashing quote for the day.

the audacity of hope!

saus on June 19, 2008 at 8:32 PM

saus on June 19, 2008 at 8:28 PM


RushBaby on June 19, 2008 at 8:48 PM

You can’t talk about Obama changing his mind on this issue you racists!

sabbott on June 20, 2008 at 6:02 AM

what “I have done…”

his powers while acting alone to achieve greatness are truly magnificent. when it hits the fan as charles krauthammer said, he will get to appreciate his aloneness, up close

what a pompous twit

billypaintbrush on June 20, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Barack: Note to self…

Words Matter

HarryStar on June 20, 2008 at 4:40 PM

The 527s have to go period, they should be dismantled – perferrably with a baseball bat and a sledge hammer.

AprilOrit on June 19, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Sure. Who goes first?

a capella on June 19, 2008 at 1:15 PM

AprilOrit on June 19, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Looks like Moveon’s pac is going dark, let’s see how many follow suit….

AprilOrit on June 21, 2008 at 9:59 AM