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June 20th, 2008
01:56 PM ET

Does it matter that Obama’s rejecting public funds?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama has become the first major-party candidate to opt out of public financing since Watergate.

It's no big surprise. When it comes to fund-raising, Obama is a virtual ATM machine. Candidates who take public financing get about $85 million to spend in the 2 months before the general election. But, if Obama can tap into the 1.5 million donors who contributed to him during the primaries along with Hillary Clinton's donors, some predict he could raise as much as $500 million – which would put him at a tremendous advantage over John McCain, who says he'll take public financing.

Experts say Obama could use this money to run a national ad campaign similar to marketing drives run by companies like McDonald's and Nike. He'll also be able to compete in Republican states, where the GOP rarely gets competition.

The downside for Obama is he's opened himself up to charges of hypocrisy. Last year he vowed to work with the Republican nominee to "preserve a publicly financed general election." And he's now drawing fire from both friends and foes for this change of heart.

McCain lashed out at Obama, saying he's gone back on his word. Although campaign finance isn't a top issue for voters, the McCain camp is pouncing on this as an issue of trust as well as evidence that Obama doesn't really represent a new kind of politics.

Watchdog groups are also disappointed with Obama's decision, and Senator Russ Feingold, who has co-sponsored legislation with Obama to change the public finance system – is calling his decision "a mistake."

Here’s my question to you: How much does it matter that Barack Obama is opting out of public campaign financing?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Patrick writes:
It matters, but this is a battlefield tactic. He would be letting down, in a way, all his supporters who have contributed so far by giving up every advantage he has. And let's be honest here: if McCain was in his position, can anyone seriously say he wouldn't be doing the same thing?

Jenn from Cape Cod, Massachusetts writes:
He made a promise to the American people and now he's breaking it. Hmmmm, doesn’t sound like "change" you can believe in. Sounds like politics as usual.

Gretchen from Bucks County, Pa. writes:
Jack, Obama is funded by donations of all amounts coming from people of all backgrounds, races, genders, etc. His is a campaign truly funded by 'the people'. What about that is not a good thing? Sometimes, circumstances change. Obama has looked at all the circumstances and has found that 'change' comes in many forms – this is one of them. I would have been disappointed if he had done otherwise.

Paul writes:
I was withholding judgment about Obama because I knew so little about him. Now I know his "word" is worthless. Money trumps honor. Have a nice life back in Chicago.

Christine writes:
What do you think John McCain would do if he had the realistic potential to raise $500 million? I'm SURE he'd forgo the money take the high road, like he did on tax cuts, offshore drilling, etc. I for one am grateful that FINALLY a Democratic candidate had a healthy dose of realism. He needs every penny to fight the Republican Party and their total lack of any moral compass. I'm looking forward to the Swift Boaters getting Swift Boated!

Jay writes:
Hey Jack, As far as I'm concerned, he is using public funds. The Republicans are just upset because he's doing it very successfully.

Larry from Santa Barbara, California writes:
Money talks, public campaign financing walks.

soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. Rosalynd Florida

    It only matters to the GOP because Obama will have the advantage and can work his 50 state strategy. Anyway, we the people will be funding Obama. Got to go make a donation. See ya!

    June 20, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  2. jennifer from Cape Cod

    He made a promise to the American people and now he's breaking it...Hmmmm....does'nt sound like "Change" you can believe in ....sounds like politics as usual.
    Jenn cape Cod

    June 20, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  3. Caryn, Washington DC

    Technically all of the money that he has raised has come from the taxpaying public. As far as I'm concerned, his campaign is publicly financed.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  4. Eugenia, new jersey

    it does not matter. John McSame, during the primary flipped floped so many times that he might have legal issues. the republicans are so used to outraising and outspending the democrats that now it's you can trust him to keep his word. But I say, We can trust him to keep his word and you can trust he WILL NOT let the republican pull a fast one on him like they did to Gore and Kerry. NOT THIS TIME!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Pat, Greenville, Ohio

    Nada, unless your a Republican. And that makes me wonder, why don't they donate to McCain?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  6. jon hoffman

    Jack:
    It is timing. Far better to take a hit months before the election; Actually it matters on a positive note; There's bragging rights to being funded by the people and for the people. Also he can spend massively in all states when that has never been possible before. On a Democracy Position; it enfranchises voters into a true electoral process.
    Jon
    Oroville, Cal.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Chryssa

    I always check "no" on the $3 option on my tax return. I figure if I want to support a candidate, I'll give my money directly to him or her. And that's exactly what Americans are doing. We're supporting Obama.

    Boise, ID

    June 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  8. JD

    His fundraising is very important to me. His success with gaining small contributions shows that he is a strong leader and can operate independently of his party's cash-box. I imagine McCain wishes he didn't have to indebt himself to his party to run his campaign.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  9. Gretchen, Bucks County PA

    Jack,

    Obama is funded by donations of all amounts coming from people of all backgrounds, races, genders, etc. His is a campaign truly funded by 'the people' – what about that is not a good thing? Sometimes, circumstances change – Obama has looked at all the circumstances and has found that 'change' comes in many forms – this is one of them – I would have been disappointed if he did otherwise.

    The fact that McCain and now Nadar are unable to get this kind of support is the only reason they are trying to make an issue of it. Maybe McCain's wife can throw some money at her husband's campaign. As for Nadar.....

    June 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  10. sandy in Ohio

    Jack, I think it means that Obama is wide to the Republicans and their use of indepent political groups that don't have to obey the campaign laws. George Bush used public financing and had the "Swift boaters" go after John Kerry. McCain has already used those groups to go after Michele and Barrack Obama. Until those groups are not allowed to be used then Obama is right to take this option and run the campaign he wants.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  11. Alex, MI

    Jack, I think McSame and co are just crying because they know they cannot compete with Obama when it comes to fund raising. No one will like to invest into a failed campaign and presidential bid.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Let me get this straight, Republicans are trying to play the "morality card"? hahahahah Ha HA HA hAH hAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!
    You can't even make up that kind of comedy. I think I'll send Barack another five bucks just because I'm in a good mood now.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  13. Jenny

    Jack,
    It shows that he is willing to change the direction when the one he is heading in is not working. Not too bad a quality to have.

    Jenny Rome GA

    June 20, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  14. Braytek in Minneapolis

    What's humorous is the fact that the McCain people are calling it a flip flop when those comments should be directed into in the mirror.
    Where is the good old McCain of the 90's? Where is the McCain who stuck to his values?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  15. Greg ...Cabot AR

    At least he is not going to annoy me with countless campaign commercials paid for with MY money.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Conor in Chicago

    I think it matters and it is the right thing to do. IT's always bothered me to know that my tax dollars are allowed to be given to political parties (Reps and Dems) while third parties who attempt to utilize this system are always shunned form the process because they aren't "legitamate" parties-which is to say nothing for how impossible it is to have a third party become "legitamate" with resistance coming from Dems and Reps at every corner, and in every local law designed to make it nearly impossible for third parties to get on ballots.

    Also, it speaks volumes to the fact that Obama CAN opt-out and McCain apparently CAN NOT.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  17. David

    McCain and his 527 attack dogs like Carl Rove will be putting out a lot more negative adds in order to compete.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  18. mk

    Obama's donations to his campaign are usually small amounts given by millions of individuals. He is running a transparent, legal race.

    McCain may be using public financing, but the GOP party – which has raised hundreds of millions – would have made up the difference in funding. This money, however, was most likely donated in large amounts by those corporations and PACs that have very special interests and needs.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  19. Karen from Arkansas

    I have had enough of the "stay the course" mentality. As circumstances change, candidates should be about to change their minds. I sure don't want my tax money paying for this fiasco.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  20. Fish, MN

    Obama has my money to back him up; that is green public financing, Jack, the clean one!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  21. John in San Diego

    Jack, it matter a lot – not because McCain will try to make political hay out of Obama's decision, but because it is the only sensible decision for Obama to make. McCain is simply jealous that Obama will raise vastly more campaign funds than he will. If the idea of campaign reform was to reduce the influence of corporate donors and increase the participation of ordinary votesr, Obama is, in fact, relying more on "public" funds than McCain.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  22. uncle Jimbo - Chicago

    Raising money the way he has been, involving millions of new voters, IS a pure form of public financing. Whats the problem ?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  23. Sarah, Broomfield CO

    It makes more sense, and is more in line with the idea that his campaign is for/by the people, to opt out of public financing and rely on his supporters to fund his campaign $5-$50 at a time. Besides, do we really need another president that insists on staying the course no matter how stupid, ineffective or just plain wrong that course has become (and no matter how many lives are lost by staying that course)? I'd rather have a president that can adapt and switch to a new strategy when the game changes. Just because something was right a year ago in the context of the current events of a year ago doesn’t mean it’s right in light of the current events now. Stubbornness does not necessarily equal strength and intelligence, and if we can't accept that, we will never change.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  24. Ruthie, GA

    It doesn’t matter. I don't give to the presidential campaign through my tax returns, because I want my money to go to the candidate of my choice. I will donate more money to Obama's campaign, because he is my choice.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  25. Jayne in NH

    It doesn't matter to me. As far as I'm concerned he can rob banks to fund his campaign if it will help him win. In any case, what's wrong with his million and a half small donors footing the bill instead of the taxpayers?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  26. LaVon, California

    So.....all those millions of small donors that Obama has been able to acquire over the past 16-17 months aren't considered "public"? Anyway, the Republicans will do or say anything to get McCain in office and Obama will need all the money he can get in order to counter that.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  27. PT Voorhees, NJ

    Jack, Obama would have been foolish to stay with public financing especially since he stands to raise 3 – 4 times as much money than what would be allocated for his campaign. Those who criticize the move and refer to him as a flip flopper should consider this: I rather him show common sense and change his position on THIS issue, unlike John McCain on everything else that matters.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Lene'

    Since the Democratic party took a vow not to fill their coffers with Lobbyist or PAC money then I see nothing wrong with him turning the public funding down. He is getting contributions from the public via his grassroots campaign. Since public financing can be used for other things other than campaigns, I think they should use it to help some of these disaster victims.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  29. Terrence

    Jack, it does not matter if Obama rejects public financing as long as he is being supported by small doners around the country. Our money is well invested if he keep corpoate america out of this campaign. We the people need to be represented for a change.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  30. Karl in CA

    Considering McCain's flip-flops in and out of public funding since this all started, it shouldn't even be a talking point for Republicans. They should be embarrassed to even mention it. Obama's fund raising has all come from the taxpaying public and McCain's, what little there has been, has come from K Street. Maybe common Republicans realize what a losing battle it is and will save their money for gas and food.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  31. Wendy. San Rafael, CA

    If he hadn't opted out I would no longer have supported him. It would have been a stupid political decision.

    BTW, what is not "public funding" about funding your campaign with small contributors? He does not accept money from PACs or lobbyists so I don't understand the problem.

    If he had opted for the taxpayer subsided route, then he would have a known $84-million to spend. By opting out, he does not have the confirmed dollar amount but I am sure that he will do well regardless.

    He had "promised" nothing but conversation about it. If the shoe were on the other foot and McCain had the same grassroots support, you don't think for a minute that he would not have done the same thing?

    The Republicans are scared, as they should be, about Obama's capacity to raise money. I am loving it!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  32. Jack Colson

    I've never seen any politician flip flop so many times in such a "short period of time" as Obama.
    McCain has changed his mind from 2000 – however times have changed and it is eight years later.
    I don't like either candidate – they are both insiders and for Corporations primarily. Wait and see if this is not the truth.

    Congres is "talk, talk and talk alot more" and do nothing.
    Jack C
    Oregon

    June 20, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  33. John St. Louis Mo

    The idea of campaign financing is a sham from the begining. When you look at all the 527's and PACs running loose, what does it really matter where the money comes from. Unless of course you are a Spinmiester, then the political accusations will fly like buzzards over a carcus in the desert.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  34. Kirven Dunham

    Not one bit. He is raising money from people like you and me so he is in the system. Until the FEC gets its act together and stop the GOP from finding loop holes in the rules, he better do this.

    By the way, when is MaCain going to face the music for over spending in the primary?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  35. JC from Pflugerville, Texas

    Sounds like a smart business decision to me and it shows that he knows that in order to win, he must do everything legal. McCain has changed positions on the Bush tax cuts which is much more of a problem for all of us than this issue. The republicans are just plain scared and they should be.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  36. Allen T

    What matters more to me Jack is the fact that our beloved Constitution has once again been cast to the side as a novelty by the Bush Administration and Congress. The fact is Obama said he would pursue aggressive talks nothing Iron Clad as McSame committed to. If you want to be real the MSM has not attacked Mcsame half as much for his flip flops and those were on policy. Heaven help us all.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  37. Jed in Redding, CA

    Let's face facts: He would be nuts to run for President in this day and age with only $85 million - especially when he can easily raise hundreds of millions of dollars from small donors between now and the election.

    The decision is fair. Obama will raise unlimited funds but will admonish the Dem-friendly 527s and McCain will be limited by public funds but do nothing to halt the GOP attack machine. That makes it a fair fight.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  38. F. Taylor

    Jack would you kindly send McCain and his cronies some cheese to go with that whine!

    McCain holds his rallies in a phone booth and basically can only rely on corporate donors so public financing is his only avenue.

    On the other hand real people of every day life are jumping at the chance to be part of history and play a small part in putting America back on track to success and progress.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  39. Jerry,OK

    It's indicative that Obama's signature, word, and anti-war speach, mean absolutly nothing.

    Jerry N/Tulsa

    June 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  40. Mary, Alabama

    It doesn't matter at all to me, Jack. Isn't public financing the tax payer's money? Obama has revolutionized campaign funding with his grass roots small donor system. I don't blame him for choosing that option. McCain knows he can't raise megabucks in this manner so of course the GOP is bitter. This should be an interesting race all around and it seems to focus on Obama. Barack is holding the good cards for the time being.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  41. Karen-Phoenix

    Go Obama!! I sent him another $25 yesterday!!! WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE are now his lobbiests!! AND the republicans are sooooo jeleous!! McCain looked like he was going to scream at someone yesterday when he was interviewed!!! Go Obama!!!! The old political system is changing and in favor of the great American middle class!!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  42. Dan, Chantilly Va

    Another $500 Million wasted by the government when 1/10th the amount would have been more than sufficient. I'm glad we're not spending that money on things like education, crime, homelessness, Midwest flood relief, the environment, housing subsidies, or any kind of program that benefits the poor. No, I think the money will be much better served in making a couple dozen commercials that talk about how old McCain is. Good old America.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  43. Sue/PA

    Jack,

    Very smart move on Sen Obamas part. We, the great citizens of the USA, fund his campaign...How more "public" does one need to get? McCain and his camp are just peeved because there is no way he and the Republican party can ever raise 1/4 of what Sen Obama can raise through us...his supporters.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  44. Connie

    Jack, I hope my neighbor didn't hear me when I seen John McBushs face when he was talking about this , I was laughing so hard I though I was going to wet myself.As far as Nader not approving I thought this was what he has always advocated grass root movement. I must get off of this computer so I can send my check to Obama. OBAMA 08

    Connie from Indiana

    June 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  45. Darth Vadik

    No it doesnt Jack,

    Obamas donations are $96 on average, unlike others who get their donations from LOBBYISTS.

    John McCain has no chance in Hell to raise as much money as Obama, plus didn't McCain break some finance rules?

    That is why McCain is crying, poor little old mean baby.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  46. Teri in FL

    It's public financing in it's purest form. "We the people" kind of public financing. T Boone Pickett and others have been financing the Republican Swiftboats for years, maybe we can have an advantage this time WITHOUT the 527s.

    Teri
    Palm Coast FL

    June 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  47. Adrienne, Miami, FL

    Look, Jack – Obama promised to work with the Republican nominee to try to preserve public financing. McCain evidently isn't even willing to negotiate about it – his campaign vehemently denies any negotiations ever having occurred. Obama would be stupid to take public financing knowing how much the RNC is raising and what the Republican 527s will be like.

    It's a flip-flop, Jack, but he is better off flip-flopping and being able to raise enough money to really compete, than trying to be honorable about a vague promise to try to preserve public financing if he then LOSES!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  48. Chut Pata

    I don't understand. If universal health care is bad because it comes off tax dollars and hence "socialized medicine", then how come public financing is good which also comes off tax dollars and hence "socialized elections".

    I would like my tax dollars to go to "socialized medicine" rather than "socialized elections".

    June 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  49. Deb

    Hi jack,
    Yea, as much as it matters that Mcain was pro illegal immigrants before "he got the message". Just think; it's only June. So far this circus has been amusing, at the very least. so what happens to the unused portion of the funds? Oh, I'll bet it gets donated back to the public to food banks, in case any citizens are out of work & groceries,
    Huh?
    Later,
    Deb

    June 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  50. Kim, Canada

    Yes it matters, it shows that he revised a decission based on the current arena around him. A good leader doing what's best to get things done. Not a flip flop if you read how he worded the agreement to go into puplic funding on the onset.
    McCain, on the other hand, has truely flip flopped on just about everything he has said. He has reversed his thinking so much the video archives have a whole new section, I'm sure.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  51. brian in nc

    Jack: Isn't the rationale for public financing, to rid the system of big money influence? What better way to accomplish that than to have two million plus individuals swamp the big money interest 527s (the big loophole) and the RNC.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  52. Jim from CT

    Jack, as soon as I heard this I was so enthusiastic to support him that I donated once again to his campaign.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  53. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If McCain thought he could raise that kind of money, he would opt out in a heartbeat. Obama would be a "chump" to give up an obvious financial advantage, and the GOP would have steamrolled him had he done so. He did the right thing.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  54. milly in massachusetts

    No it doesn't matter since he won't be using tax payer money to fund his campaign. John McSame is trying to feign outrage garner support by telling voters that Obama lied, when in reality he is the one that gamed the system.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  55. Nuwan Sam

    I think he did a mistake. He is slowly turning his back on his campaign promises. He has his reasons to do this but he made promises to the voters to get their votes. Now that he is the candidate, he is saying good bye to his promises. He is becoming a typical washington politicians that people didnt want. Who know what he will become if he win in November. We will see his true colors in the future. This is just a start.

    – Nuwan from Houston, TX

    June 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  56. Keith R., from Tucson, AZ

    If you read the full texts of what Obama agreed to (in writing) it's that he would pursue public funding if there was an agreement from the other side. According to yesterday's news, there was no agreement, stated directly from the McCain camp.

    And the other half is that he would support public funding during his bid for Presidency. Supporting the funding doesn't necessarily mean being beholden to it. As long as he doesn't shoot it down, then let it be.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  57. Dayton from Columbia, Maryland

    Look Jack, this isn't a change in policy. It is a change in a course of action. Obama's principles are not compromised because his reasoning is legitimate. Public funding is corrupt. Just look at the last presidential election (remember those swift boat veterans). You can't label Obama a hypocrit for something he said he would do a year ago. Circumstances have changed, and it is clear that McCain is going to run a smear campaign. I commend Obama for his foresight.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  58. Grace in California

    This week Obama's campaign announced it will not take money from lobbyists and special interests and due to flaws in the public fund system, he will not participate. McCain has also danced around on this issue, but he has not announced no to money from lobbyists and special interests.

    Does it matter? To the American voter? Not really. Both candidates will launch effective campaigns and arrive at a decision on the financia ethics of the campaign. But I dare say McCain's campaign is probably "concerned" at the fundraising power of the grass roots backers of Obama. It ought to be too.

    What does matter is the economy, Iraq, fuel costs going through the roof, the rapidly increasing price of food at the grocery stores, the nightmarish mortgage mess and ongoing foreclosures, the increase in working poor, the vanishing middle class, the environment, the number of unemployed and underemployer.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  59. Scot - Fairfield, CA

    I think Obama made the smart choice by turning down public taxpayer financing. I for one, have never checked the box on my tax return for the $3.00. This is one handicap that the Republicans won't be able to control or handle.

    Watch out McCain – it's about to get ugly in here!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  60. Taj from Chattanooga

    It matters not at all Jack. This will help to expose public financing for what it is–a broken system. Why should taxpayer money be used for letting candidates advertise and campaign when that money could be used for other important issues. We should talk about Obama's leadership in making the DNC not accept lobbyist or PAC money just like his campaign. This is truly a campaign of the people, by the people, and for the people. McCain may have opted for public financing, but I'm sure the RNC is still getting their big sums of money from PACs, lobbyists, and some other shady characters.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  61. Sue

    In the end, it doesn't matter at all because people like me who will send thousands of dollars to support our candidate can send to PACs or start our own internet site to bash BO, and we will.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  62. Margaret, IN

    Heck Jack, that's what we want Barack to do. The system is broken, and that's why we are funding his campaign, so he can be accountable to the people.

    He did exactly what we were hoping he would do. He has not failed us, and we will not fail him. I'm at work making money so I can send another check to Barack. He's a great leader and we are behind him 100%.

    Those sourpusses on the GOP side should have been thinking about the people a long time ago, instead of big corporations. If corporations could vote, then we wouldn't have leaders like Barack. We would have more George Bushes–egad!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  63. Paul, Columbia, SC

    I was withholding judgement about Obama because I knew so little about him. Now I know his "word" is worthless. Money trumps honor. Have a nice life back in Chicago.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  64. Nancy in Florida

    I have no problem with Barack Obama rejecting public campaign money because the majority of his financing has come from many individuals who have donated relatively small amounts. I cannot think of a better way to finance a campaign than from regular citizens giving small amounts of money to the candidate of their choice.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  65. Mary Oklahoma

    Senator Obama mislead the American voters again, then changed his mind. Just another flip-flop for the corrupt flip-flopping politician. This is his usual political agenda.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  66. Helene

    I already gave Barack Obama a large donation.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  67. Ginnessa

    I personally do not understand the uproar that Obama's decision has caused. If he can raise $500 million or more, why should he accept only $85 million. The reason Republicans are "outraged" is obvious: there is no way that McCain will be able to raise 1/4 of the $85 million, let alone what Obama can and will raise.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  68. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Just another example that Senator Obama is not really a candidate for change. He is just another Politician who will say and do what is necessary to win. He found a slogan that People wanted to hear and road it all the way to the Nomination, and possible the White House.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  69. Jean Los Angeles

    He is being funded by the public that made a choice. I donated to a canidate's campain for the first time and I am 69 years old, I consider myself and others as members of the public.

    I think it was a good choice given the options.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  70. AndyZ Fairfax, VA

    A very dangerous precedent indeed. How will the American voting public react to, dare I say it, an honest, not-for-sale politician. Perish the thought! Demand money from the public till.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  71. Rosemary, California

    If Obama does not take PAC, Lobbyists, and Corporated Donors, does this not mean that he has been taking public funding of his campaign the whole time? We the small donors, are we not the public.

    The Public is saying this is who we want to be POTUS. Besides, Obama just saved the Federal Govt. and the the public $85 million dollars. Can John McCain say that?!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  72. Trevor - Barbados

    Not at all. This is a contest. Ever seen Kevin Garnett give feint left and when his opponent moves in that direction he goes the other way? Does the referee blow a foul? It's how the game is played.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  73. NH, Texas

    Jack,

    Truth be told the GOP is upset because someone other than them is ahead in raising money. Try to imagine if the GOP had Obama's ATM machine capabilities, they would be laughing at him for turning the money down. Obama is allowed to change his mind. Personally I think taking money from ordinary people and not from the fund supports his argument of running for the people. It relieves him of the pressure to please the special interests. Let's see how the rest of this year rolls out.

    NH, Texas

    June 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  74. larry

    how many other promises will he break? – change of promise is the only thing we can believe in ... call it like it is ... politics and politicians behaving badly.... that is behaving as usual.

    Is there a viable independent out there?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  75. Ruben from new york

    It does not matter, we are the ones that donate to him regardless. The republicans do not like that because their machine cannot generate that clout. Obama, you did not break laws, just trying something different for a CHANGE.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  76. Emeka, South Florida

    Mcain should also reject the public funds because he is meant to be a Republican seeking limited government. Government should NOT be funding campaigns rather it should bail out its own citizens from the mortgage crises.
    Mcain should be attacked for spending taxpayer's money on a campaign that is still-born.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  77. Nancy K from Indiana

    I am a 68yr old widow living on SS and a very small pension. I have donated what I can to Obama monthly since this all started and will keep donating until he is the next President of the United States! As a citizen and a voter because of his smartness of using new technology now I can really choose where I want MY MONEY TO GO!!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  78. Donna, KY

    Jack,

    Obama is running the greatest campaign I've ever seen in my life, and I'm not going to question his decision. We want him to win, and the decision was a no brainer. Does he accept 80 million, or does he accept over 100-200 million dollars from people who want to GIVE him the money. The best that John McCain can do is move out of the way, because this Obama Money Train is coming straight at his "Straight Talk Express".

    "We The People" Can Not Be Stopped By GOP Tactics

    Note to the GOP: Our Constitution means more to us than wallpaper, as you have used it for 8 long years.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  79. Heather in PA

    Obama made the right choice by opting out of public financing. This gives the voters the power to contribute directly to the candidates that they believe in instead of checking a box on a tax form in April and having their money go to any candidate.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  80. Tony from Torrington

    It doesn't matter, because he realizes that to be sure of a win in November, he needs to buy the election. Why not "change" his mind? After all, change is his thing....change to anything that will guarantee a win. Talk about swiftboating, he will have an entire armada to try to sink McCain. What a great guy!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  81. linda n carolina

    Jack: McCain just got outfoxed on this one. This isn't your old politics anymore. The republicans have met their match. Take Obama's share of the public funds and give it to the flood victims. It will be Obama's gift to America. Gotta love this guy.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  82. Zina

    Not a bit!

    Zina, Las Vegas

    June 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  83. Paulette Dallas,PA

    It matters a lot. He said one thing and is now doing another. Why should we believe anything he says. This man tried to sell America that he was a man of principle,not a hypocrit.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  84. Adam Mercer Oshawa, Ontario

    Jack,

    I fail to see how taxpayers can object to a candidate who wants to keep the money in the national coffers in favour of allowing those who want to see him win put their money where their mouth is. The taxpayer wins, the candidate is happy, and all the way around it is both fair and legal.

    If McSame has a problem with it maybe he should drop public financing, and see if his supporters will put up or shut up.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  85. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Change!
    Change!
    Change!
    (except when it puts me at a disadvantage)

    Typical liberal... "do as I say, not as I do."
    The "New Messiah" is beginning to look like a false prophet.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  86. shirley

    This is the kind of change I can believe in. Where is my purse?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  87. Mary Wa

    It is public financing at it's best. We the people choose who we want to support. I never check the box on my tax return because I may not want to support one or either of the canidates. Besides he didn't really flip-flop. There was a comment after the check-box on the questionaire where he wrote a contingency based on fair play. McCain isn't playing fair. Thats why the DNC have filed a complaint. The republicans are mad because Obama is smart. We are smart as well and won't fall for McMillionaires whinning.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  88. Jack

    This is much ado about nothing. The system as it is terrible. Collecting millions of dollars from individual donors is true public financing. I want my money to go to my candidate. Does anyone else notice how much time and energy McCain spends complaining?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  89. Jim, Oak Park, IL

    I am all for Obama bypassing public funding .....

    As long as he spends the money wisely (ie: he takes the high road).

    As long as he continues to raise money primarily from individuals who donate small sums.

    As long as there exists 527-type groups that are accountable to no one and who will attempt to "swift boat" his campaign.

    As long as public finance rules remain unfair (ie: 3rd parties are excluded).

    Barack Hussein Obama fro President in 2008.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  90. Loretta from California

    Jack it doesn't matter to me.

    No!!! I rather like the idea of our political leaders finding ways to raise the money on their own, as opposed to taking tax payer, special interest, or Pac money.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  91. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    Obama has just stapled a "Win At All Costs" sign onto his chest. He will bleed alitte and then it will be over.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  92. Robert - Des Moines, IA

    Jack,

    Obama is all about change when it benefits him.

    Lets change our friends, our family, NAFTA, public funding, respect for Hillary, move DNC to corrupt Chicago, and our patriotism. Do any and everything to get elected. Not that any of this matters as it falls on deaf ears to his supporters.

    Manipulate people to get elected? Yes We Can.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  93. Kathy

    I feel sorry for all those low-income folks who financed Obama's primary campaign - and are now being asked to finance his general election campaign. Obama is more than happy to take their last $100 - money that could be better spent to fill their gas tank or to feed thier children.

    Doesn't OBAMA see that he is only adding to the burden of the average american (SMALL donors) who he is now asking to SUPPORT him through November?

    How thoughtless of the man – $85 million of already dedicated public funds is not good enough for Obama.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  94. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Hey Jack Welcome Back,

    Doesn't matter to me one bit. I am one of the million that donated in the primaries and will be happy to donate now. McCain is having a hissy fit because he can not top Obama’s fundraising phenomenon.

    Obama made that decision based on facts then and based on the facts today he changed his mind. He would have been a fool to ignore the fact he can raise hundreds of millions on his own.

    Hey the governments is in a what trillion dollar deficit we can't afford to give candidates 85million dollars anyway.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  95. Dale Wise

    I don't think it will have any discernible lasting impact on the election. There are too many other more important issues. Personally, it strengthens my support for Obama that he's already going against the system and changing how things are done. The public financing system should be scrapped anyway.

    – Alexandria, VA

    June 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  96. Ed in OH-IO

    The only reason Mccain wants Obama to use public funding is because of the ENORMOUS disparity the RNC has over the DNC in their coffers. So what he portrays as an issue of trust is actually an issue over where the money comes from. Republicans coffers are stuffed with money from lobbyists while Obama is generating his funds from average citizens. You tell me what sounds worse?

    June 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  97. Bob Turton in Brooklyn NY

    Hey Jack,

    When John McCain moves his mouth non-sense usually spews-out. McCain has been running Presidential Campaign ads since April; two full months before he knew who his opponent would be. Does that money count towards his $85M funds he is claiming to only use? I seriously doubt it. Then factor in the 527 monies. Ultimately much more than $85M will be spent by or on John McCain's campaign. Talk about hypocrisy.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  98. indianapolis

    McCain doesn't have room to throw stones on this one. He was for public financing when couldn't raise enough money to get through the primary. And now our tax dollars aren't enough, so he's talking about dropping out too. McCain's money problems are really message problems: the public isn't buying what he's selling

    June 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  99. Francis, CA

    Jack,

    I went on a business trip where the news was not always available. All I could do was send my money to Barack. That was my way of keeping involved.

    He did the right thing, and I'm behind him all the way. We're having a voting party in November and I can't wait.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  100. Diing in Washinton

    If Senator McCain said he was not going to be the refere for the GOP's 527ers and other smearmongers, Senator Obama had no choice but to opt out. Any reason person in his/her mind could not accept that. Therefore, let the gop whin all they want.

    How soon we forgot what they did to Senator Kerry. Gop are themselves to blame. Remember what happened in MI, NC, TN, TX, and Foxnews. Senator Obama has made the best decision ever. Bravo to him.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  101. Forris Hudkins

    The comments of those on this site who agree with Obama having turned down public financing makes one really wonder what sort of upbringing they had. Did not you parents explain to you that your word was your bond? Apparently not . . .

    A person's word is either good, or it is not. A person who agrees to do something - Obama did agree in writing as indicated on the documents that were displayed on MSNBC. In plain language, for the benefit of those who had no upbringing is that one keeps his/her word REGARDLESS of loss of benefit.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  102. Kwapi

    As much as it may make Obama temporarily look bad only a fool would have done otherwise; I see it as a necessary evil that contributes to the greater good if the greater good is contigent on Obama getting into the White House.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  103. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    By the way Jack, having over 1million contributors is public financing at its best.
    Kudos to Obama for inspiring that many people to get involved.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  104. DJ, Los Angeles

    Yes it does matter. The system has been broken going back decades.
    President Eisenhower was one of the first critics of how lobbyists and special interests have corrupted the political process.

    When the big money lobbies flex their muscles making donations to various politicians...they expect someone back in return such as legislation written by own attorneys or other corrupt favoritism.

    They system is BEYOND broken. It's outright corrupt...let's be honest.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  105. Jim - Huntington Beach, CA

    It doesn't matter one bit. Neither one of them needs those funds, so the issue is unimportant.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  106. Jeremy

    Jack,
    I really dont think it matters at all, McCain realizes now that he definitely has an up hill battle along with the GOP. Also remember what Luke Russert said, If you change your mind just come out and say it! No Big deal

    June 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  107. Rick in L.A.

    Not pointing at John McCain, but the Republican party hosts some of the biggest crooks and liars in modern political history. For them to make an issue of this is going to backfire at some point. Can't wait!

    June 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  108. Nicholas from Knoxville, TN

    Why not try something new Jack? It shows me he doesn't have to stick to the status quo ALL the time. You don't always have to do things the same way every time around.

    June 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  109. Brett from Austin

    Normally it wouldn't matter, but when someone claims to be running on "the politics of change and hope", it threatens his candidacy by demonstrating the politics of the last 3 or 4 decades...

    Just another politician going back on their word.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  110. henry

    When are we going to face the real problems going on about the middle class??

    Why can the GOP jump at the chance to bury Obma about this yet when it comes to the real issues that will get McCain elected, you know healthcare, economy, GAS PRICES they seem to be silent.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  111. Paul Harris

    Jack,
    Not at all someone has to at some point stop taking public money and lobbyist funds. It is the right step for the future of this country.
    One small step for Obama, one giant step for change. Why does this upset McCain so much?

    Paul
    Austin, Texas

    June 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  112. Tom, Ft Lauderdale

    Jack

    I think Obama should not deviate from his pledge to use public money. I further believe it wont change the election either way; leaving his word in tact.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  113. Chris Loveland, Colorado

    It does not matter at all. Just cause he wants to collect his own money from the public is not a bad thing. He is a smart guy he knows what he is doing. And doesn`t this mean he trusts us if he would rather not take a guaranteed $80 million and try to raise his own millions.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  114. Daniel Meade

    Obama's the man! He smart to opt out. And who really cares? Only McSame because he can't raise even a fraction of the money that Obama can. I gave him money, and I'm about to go donate some more. Isn't that a publicly funded campaign?
    YES WE CAN!!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  115. mark

    Let the people sent a clear voice of who they want to be the next president of our great country. By giving their money directly to who they really think should be the next leader regardless of who wins the electorate votes.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  116. Matt In Cleveland

    Forriss so you are supposed to keep your word even if it is a bad decision?? sound stupid to me. he saw how flawed the public financing system is and didnt want to play that game. its like a guest on cnn said this morning, you might have promised your daughter to go swimming but if there is rough surf, its a better decision to not go.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  117. juice-Canyon Lake

    If he can raise more money to help his campaign within the law then more power to him. McCain has his own campaign issues when it comes to finances. I believe there is s law suit currently against for violations when it comes to campaign finance i.e. he violated the law; Obama did not.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  118. Don-Ocala, FL.

    I am a Republican but I think that our party has received what it deserves. Obama knows that the 527's will be coming after him, his wife, his children and will stop at nothing in trying to win this election. He made the smart move in order to combat this dirty side show as he will need the funds to defend himself. McCain is a major disappointment to me as he has betrayed anything he may have stood for in the past.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  119. Miranda, Philadelphia, PA

    Hi Jack. The Republicans are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Apparently, only they are allowed to learn new information and change their minds on important issues. Last week, McCain and Crist were opposed to offshore drilling. After going public about their change of heart, the Democrats didn't question their personal integrity. Focus on the issues, Mr. McCain!!

    June 20, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  120. RJ from Pennsylvania

    I don't think it matters. Obama is saying he doesnt need money from the people because he has enough of it. Plus he wants the people to save their money so their not all broke when he's President.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  121. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    It means nothing. Until the wording of the public financing is
    what it is supposed to be I do not blame anyone not wanting
    to trust it. There are too many loopholes.
    And, cannot believe the king of flip-flopping is making such
    an issue of it,. Is only because he does not have the
    backing and financing of the American voters.
    Barack is getting public funding, us, and it is not costing the
    tax payers a cent! Nor, is he allowing the special interests,
    large corporations and lobbyists pick and control our
    next president..

    June 20, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  122. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    Pat, Greenville, Ohio I agree with you, if John McSane was getting donations like Sen. Obama he would opt out too, and where is his backers and there wallets they are really not satisfied with there candidate and I can't blame them for that.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  123. Paul Harris

    Jack,
    Change is on the horizon. Look at Texas half Hilary have Obama when you get the real count McCain can not think he has any state in the bag even Arizona.
    Paul
    Austin, Texas

    June 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  124. Bill Warriner

    THIS JUST IN: The second I heard the news I went to Obama's Web site and opted in for what I could afford. Let the people speak their hearts with their wallets. Obama's decision is the very definition of Grass Roots, and the McBush camp has neither roots nor heart. Nor cabbage.
    – Bill
    Marlborough, Massachusetts

    June 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  125. j maxwell

    I feel very sorry for people who are so upset with Senator Obama's decision. I am sorry because that much negative energy invested by these people create stress. The stress chemical create health issues for thier major organs. Which will lead to bankrupting the health insurance companies. So, if you do not want to vote for him do not. Let go of the negitive energy by sending your money to Sentor McCain and be happy!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  126. John Buch

    Obama might have a dry Well come August – he better more carefull than selfish. He's shown his self serving ways when he would not agree to have Michigan and Florida voters re vote. That was as unpatriotic as any person could be. That did it for me – all done Obama (who use to call himself Barry for almost all of his life).
    John B
    Minnesota

    June 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  127. Peter E, Boulder, CO

    'Yes, we can outspend everyone else.'

    June 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  128. Terry in Hanover County

    Hypocrisy and politics? Whoever would have 'thunk" it? The GOP and McCain are having trouble raising money so McCain needs the public campaign funds; Obama doesn't. Obama only agreed to meet with McCain's people to discuss the issue. No, he didn't keep that promise. When has any politician in recent memory kept his or her promises to voters? Isn't lying what politicians do best?

    June 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  129. Donnie R. Shorts

    What Obama is doing is great and audacious!!! Although he has done an about face so to speak, it is prudent to do so. Why? It is my belief that if you arevgoing to run for public office you should raise your own money. Taxpayers are already burden with enough cost as it is. We shouldn't have to foot the bill for a politician who we may or may not agree with his desired policies. He/she should be under-written by those who support his views.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  130. Pappu

    All you foolish people think you have found your Messiah. Obama will be laughing all the way to the White House. He has no convictions, no principles, no scruples.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  131. Bill in Oklahoma

    Obama is just like any other politician. He will do what is in his best interest. Having a quarter of a billion dollars is better than having 84 million.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  132. MBG

    ....and guess what I'm going back and donating another $5 bucks! How's that for public financing!

    June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  133. Chris P., Buffalo NY

    Obama is being attacked from all sides ... the GOP alone would eat up that 85 Million with one attack. If the attack dogs were turned off, that's one thing – but until this is truly an issued-based system without all of the attacks, Obama is doing the right thing. Why play by their broken rules and tie his own hands? We've been bamboozled for far too long!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  134. Adam from Orange County, California

    Look! this ridiculous! McCain rejected public funding long time ago. Yet, he goes out and criticizes Obama. Give me a break!

    June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  135. Zanfito, Atlanta, Georgia

    Even if Senator McSame receives the 85 millions in taxpayers' funds, his campaign will still be funded by special interests, corporations and lobyists. You just have to envision what percentage of the overall campaign money special interests group money represents. Add to that his lobyists two top aids' time worth millions more...

    On the other hand, I feel like it's been with my 15$ contribution Senator Obama has been operating on (I'll give 3 more times 15$ in the months to come, by the way). Who's using public financing? Jack, you and the american people are smart enough to answer this question.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  136. Paul

    Jack,
    With more experience, judgement, and qualifications. Does McCain need to spend $84 millions to tell us that he has more experience?

    Chantilly, Virginia

    June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  137. OSIRIS

    Jack,

    You and I know that the republicans are master of the game. Gaming the system is a vicious cycle that cost the presidency to AL GORE and John kerry.

    Now, Obama is bringing his own team, the American People(donors), to play the same game, the genaral election, in different courts, the 50 states.

    Sen. Obama is a bright young guy and he has sorrounded himself with lots of bright American who wants a 21st century USA. $85 MIL
    is not enough to play the game in 50 courts and defenitely is not enough to beat Maccain's corporate lobbiests who are willing to take everything to the PAWN SHOP to beat Sen Obama.

    SAY NO TO THE PAST AND OLD IDEAS....

    After all this is politics and you will be stupid if you have an advantage and don't use it. Wolf don't be sorry for the republicans they are never sorry for the democrats.

    God bless,
    Osiris
    Independent for OBAMA 08

    June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  138. Big Jeff, Los Angeles

    It will only matter to those who prefer the broken, flawed, corruptible way – the Guileful Old Party

    June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  139. Donnie R. Shorts

    What Obama is doing is great and audacious!!! Although he has done an about face so to speak, it is prudent to do so. Why? It is my belief that if you are going to run for public office you should raise your own money. Taxpayers are already burden with enough cost as it is. We shouldn't have to foot the bill for a politician who we may or may not agree with his desired policies. He/she should be under-written by those who support his views.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  140. obama supporter

    JOHN BURCH
    you are pissed because he out smarted the clintons. just get over it.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  141. taylor richmond virginia

    no, what matters is if he keeps it at small donations............regardless, until congress makes public financing the law, it would be political suicide. if the candidates wanted to go the public financing route they should have done so along time ago.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  142. John

    Hey Jack,

    I have to admit, for a Republican Presidential Candidate, like McBush, McSame; he must be really bored. All I hear is, " Wah Wah, Obama this, Obama that". It's obvious, McCain, don't have anything to offer. If He offered anything, it's something what the people want to hear depending on the current issue or discussion just to get elected.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  143. jen

    How amusing that the Republicans for the first time (publicly anyway) are in a position of having to defend publicly funded anything! I would have thought they of all people would be defending the entrepreneurial, free spirit of Obama's move. I guess they aren't into freedom anymore?

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  144. Morad

    Jack, it only matters to McCain's campaign, fox news and political pundits.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  145. Jamaal Kansas

    Jack No it doesn't matter this will help him fight all of the lies that the Republicans will say about him and his Wife to be honest jack i would have been angry if he played into the Republicans trap by accepting the funding.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  146. Wayne

    Who cares! Can we please mandate that all new home builders have solar power. Could you imagine what would of happened a few years ago if all these home builders had all homes built with solar roofs?

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  147. Ron (VA)

    He's not rejecting public funds. WE THE PEOPLE are funding his campaign directly. And, that scares the hell out of gramps!

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  148. Daniel

    At this point in time I think any action that will reduce public spending and channel the money to support struggling citizens should be welcomed. I wish McCain will also eject the money.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  149. Bishop

    It is a hard thing to do. However, so is explaining why after you've declare independence form lobbyists and other special Interest groups, you are returning them to their seats, or actually MY seat, for the general elections.

    The point is to make it VERY clear that the Americans are looking for a Change, want Change, are going to get Change without those groups and the disappointed HRC fan club who have turned their back on the Democratic party.

    Furthermore, It will show the GOP what really support looks like with the doors WIDE OPEN....

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  150. rice, bryan

    i guess the republicans want an uneven playing field. who cares the obama doesn't want tax money to run his campaign. it's disgusting that any politician takes any tax payers money. when your rich, i think you should spend your money non-refundable. the ordinary person should have the right to donate to the candidate of the their choice, instead of paying your taxes, and watch your money go up in lies. and by the way instead of worring about this issue, ask mcbush about the enron loop hole that he did not vote to close. ask him what is that doing to the cost of oil, and gas. just ask him in a debate, don't let him weasel his way out answering it, like he would in a town hall meeting.

    June 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  151. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    It's a very good thing that he trusts the people to finance his campaign. He's making history in more than one way and the Republicans must be sweating bullets.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  152. Brian

    No, it doesn't matter. Im simpliest terms, he has now chosen to use the individual donations of those who specifically support him. Instead using the funds donated through a generic fund from taxpayers. In fact take the 80+ Million he would have used and donate it to the flood relief. Mr. McCain care to do the same?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  153. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    did my Ph.D. on Campaign Finance. Public finance as it now stands is a poor fix to a blighted system. Obama's low dollar high volume approach is about the purest Populist funding system I've ever seen. Wish I'd thought of it for my doctoral dissertation 20 years ago.

    Pablo in Tejas

    June 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  154. L.M.,Arizona

    I say good for him. He will need all the money he can get to compete with the swift voters,Fox news, the Limbaughs and McCain who has nothing but the color of his skin.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  155. john marlton, nj

    It’s huge that he is opting out of public financing. First, it means he broke his promise to take the public money. Second, everyone who antes up for campaigns expects something. Who is fooling who, get ready for the payback, if Obama gets elected we will see the grandest of social giveaway programs that mankind has ever seen.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  156. Paul

    This is an example of a true flip-flop: a change of position because of personal gain and NOT because of a change in policy. I think this is very important since it shows us the true nature of Obama. He will do anything to win, make any excuses, and change his mind when it benefits his IMAGE as opposed to the American people. Instead of whining about attacks due to a broken system, he should be denouncing the number ONE funded 527 culprit: MoveOn.org. Of course, you won't see that on Fight the Smears.com.

    Paul
    Burlington, KY

    June 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  157. obama all the way

    I think it is great!!!!

    I am going to donate again now!!!

    And if it makes McCain cry even louder, I'll donate even more.

    I like watching him have a hissy fit. I am sure his stepford wife will have one too....but you just can't tell because of all the botox and plastic surgery.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  158. John

    McCain is just upset he can't raise as much as Obama. With the money he has raised so far and the amount he's surely going to get, Obama can compete in states once thought strong republican bases, such as Georgia, Lousiana, and even Alaska. The Arizona senator knows he made a blunder by switching his stance on off-shore drilling, so he wants to distract this error. A lot of people probably don't know where public finance money comes from, and even if they do, it's a non-issue because why can't Obama, or any candidate, for that matter, raise as much money as he can? The reason why Obama can compete in Alaska is that crab-fishing is a huge industry there, and if one of the ships happens to collide with an oil rig, then the crewmen's lives are at stake, not to mention the possible oil spill, which could kill the crab and fishermen's jobs.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  159. Kenneth

    Obama knows that he will need more than the max cap in public fincining to off st the 527 groups

    June 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  160. Cynical

    No. It matters only to the media not to the people.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  161. Dan the Dandy

    It means John is likely gonna take a bite of Cindy's profits as his only recourse is to drink as much beer as possible to escape the reality of the situation. I'll bet he'll be glad he didn't really veto beer!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  162. Lyle

    This truly is the public financing his campaign with all the small donors. He should "slay" this criticism and boldly say so! He should emphasize that he will not get "swift-boated" by all the GOP 527's (where the real GOP money lives).

    June 20, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  163. Mike: Scarsdale, New York

    while going back on his word doesn't look good on his resume,it isn't really a big deal. he's not stealing anything, but banking on his charisma. if the people want to donate to obama, the republicans shouldn't cry about it; they should support their candidate. as far as i'm concerned, the public IS financing him,

    June 20, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  164. Michael Nunziante III

    Any charges of hypocrisy are based on illogical inferences. The purported purpose of public financing is to shield the Presidential election from some of the influence of Corporate Big Money. Obama's campaign is so successful in raising money due to the unprecedented participation of small donors like you and me. Given the importance of this election, vis a vis the war, the economy, and appointments to the Supreme Court which are likely in the next 4 to 8 years, Obama's campaign has a moral imperative to accept the financial clout of the masses, and win this election.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  165. Kris Marsalis

    I've gotta tell ya, Jack, I've never donated to a single presidential campaign, but that Obama definitely has me reaching for my wallet! As for Republicans, well their money is no good around these parts anyway.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  166. Judy, Kansas City, MO

    I could care less about how they fund their campaigns. As long as McCain wins, I don't care how he gets his money.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  167. LIN PA

    Jack, People that have never given to a political candidate are giving 5 ,10, 25,dollars., whatever they can ,and in the end they can be proud that their small contributation help to get the first African American, elected President of the United States of America . This is the way it should be. I have given 10,dollars several times already and when I heard this I logged on and gave 25 dollar . I will continue to give whenever I can . I believe in Sen Obama .

    June 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  168. Orval Perkins

    Obama did not renig on any promises. You guys are the least informative news agency in the world. Just the least amount of research into what he acctually said, and you would know that he said IF his political rivals did so, then he would follow suit. McBush waited until forever to make a decision, which can only be construed as political gamesmanship, but only after Obama declared he would opt out of public financing did McInsane declare one way or the other. At any rate Obama would be an idiot to accept the small money. If he did he would not be worthy of anyones vote.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  169. Jay

    Personally, I don't care how a candidate finances his/her campaign as long as it is above board and within the rules/laws

    Lets face it, If I could get five fold from private donor, then why wouldn't I opt out. Also, $85M probably will not go far in this day and age of media marketing costs especially when the networks know there is a high level of interest in politics this year.

    BTW, isn't this the capitalist way. In business, if you had the option of $85M from public Finance or ~$300M from private donors, which option do you think the business will choose

    June 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  170. No McSame

    McCain has also changed his mind on other issues as he tries to appease the far right and the maverick middle. Obama wants to win and he needs to introduce himself moreso than McCain; so I'll say, he should do whatever it takes. But he should make sure we do get "Change" in Washington and if he lines his pockets with lobbyist moneys, that aint change!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  171. smith, florida

    Jack.
    is just like taking your kids to missisipi river but when you find out that it is flooded then you have to change your mind. So Obama is very brilliant enough not let what happen to John kerry to happen to him.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  172. Sheryl for Obama08 and 12 in NY

    Does it really matter what method of public financing Sen. Obama gets, I mean whether the American people are funding Barack's presidential candidacy by checking the $3 box on our tax form of whether we are checking the $5, $10, $25 etc box on his web site using our credit card. Just as long as his campaign isn't being funded by the Washington lobbyist and PAC money, Obama is still staying true to the grassroots fundraising campaign he is building.

    He is definitely " running the type of campaign that reflects the grassroots values that have already changed our politics and brought him and us this far." He is definitely building the first general election campaign that’s truly funded by the American people.

    Sen. Obama speaks the truth, "The stakes are higher than ever, every American who is desperate for a fair economy and affordable healthcare, who wants to bring our troops back from Iraq; who hopes for a better education and future for his or her child, these people are relying on him."

    So I say It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    June 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  173. Gary Dahl

    It will make a big difference to McCain when he's outspent four to one. John McCain flip-flops on some issue nearly everyday. For him to now accuse Obama of "going back on his word" regarding public financing is absolutely ludicrous. McCain should be so lucky as to have Obama's find raising machine.

    Gary
    Jacksonville, OR

    June 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  174. Peter E, Boulder, CO

    Don't be fooled! Obama outspending his rivals has nothing to do with 'giving voice to the people.' It is an attempt to buy the election by outmuscling his opponents with a flood of advertisement. If he were fair, he'd let people examine his actual stances and record instead of zombifying them with empty slogans.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  175. Nana Pat

    Doesn't matter to me as a matter of fact it suggest's to me that he has good money management skill's and has confidence in his staff that they can manage money also..

    Please excuse me now while I go online and make a donation to Obama'08..

    June 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  176. Lyz in MD

    Public financing is intended to discourage candidates from taking corporate lobbyist money, and it's based on the assumption that big corporate donations are the only way to raise the kind of money that Obama has raised. If you look at the facts of the case, Obama's ineligibility for public funding is a technicality. He is more in keeping with the spirit of the law than any viable candidate in decades.

    The fact that CNN has studiously ignored is that Obama is the first candidate in decades to be funded by (and therefore beholden to) nobody but the American people.

    When I was volunteering for his campaign in Pennsylvania, I kept hearing voters say that candidates always promised change but all turned out the same. Well, there's a very good reason for that. Every candidate in recent memory, except for Obama, has been funded by the same corporate interests, and who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Why cover Obama's refusal of public funding (because of a technicality) instead of the salient facts?

    Obama refuses corporate lobbyist money, while McCain has them doing business on his campaign bus. McCain is one of the infamous Keating Five who started playing at being a reformer in order to save his political career, but whose campaign is run by lobbyists. Obama is the inventor of a revolutionary new way to get around the special interests. Which one is more of a campaign reformer?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  177. Don

    When weighed against an economy in the toilet, a war we can't win cause we have already lost 4,000 lives, a healthcare system geared toward the very rich, unregulated oil industry that has caused our gas prices to increase, and our country being hated by the world, I'd say him opting out of public funding is a non-issue, just like McCain accepting public funding. One sign of a true leader is the ability to change with tides even if it doesn't make you look good. To continue failed policies just to save face in idiotic and the failed policies of this current administraion only reflects their arrogance and lack of leadership.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  178. Tammy -New York

    Public = Me.
    Financing = every donation I make to the canditate I SPECIFICLY chose to support.

    I don't see the problem here.

    He never broke a promises to me. What he did was give those of us who didn't donate that $3 on our tax return an opportunity to support the presidential candidate of our choosing. If that's not convenient for McCain, well, McCain should do a better job of getting his own supporters to finance his campaign. (of course that may be difficult when your only supporters are a few big corporations who are limited in the amount they can actually donate.)

    "A Flip flop?" uh, sure. I guess. Kinda like saying "I'm giong to pay for my dinner with my credit card" and then deciding "On second thought, I think I'll pay in cash" is a flip flop. WHO CARES.

    Tell me when he flip flops on something that ACTUALLY matters and flips in a direction that I don't agree with.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  179. Clover Henry-Gilroy, West Palm Beach, FL

    This is an indication of superb campaign management. Where in our constitution does it say a candidate is reprehensible for rethinking a decision made with parties who have a history of less than ethical or fair financial tactics? And why would Obama not seek to replace the PAC/527 funds he unceremoniously rejected earlier this month? I like a candidate who comes to the American people and tells them I have reviewed that decision, and it is not in the best interest of my campaign to follow that course. It would be political suicide for the Obama campaign to NOT refuse the public funding and to allow themselves to be so restricted by the corresponding rules. McCain knows he can count on 527 ad campaigns, so he should just keep a low profile and move on.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  180. Nick A

    It doesn't matter at all. This is being made an issue by the GOP because it means that McCain whose campaign has long been short on cash, will again be grossly underfunded. The only way this would matter would be if Obama began taking money from lobbyists and interests group. However, proceeding with a successful grassroots fundraising machine that has created over one million donors and one of the most well-financed campaigns in history is not a mistake.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  181. Derrick - Houston, TX

    Jack-

    Only scared, die-hard republicans and the media talking heads care about this issue-

    As far as I’m concerned, Obama’s campaign has been publically financed from the beginning.

    We’re more concerned about these soaring gas prices- and frankly, I’m insulted that your colleagues at CNN insist on labeling Obama’s position as “Flip-Flopping”, yet choose to ignore McCain’s ever-changing stances on issues that actually matter-

    A politician that refuses to spend tax-payers money? OH NO!! STOP THE PRESSES!!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  182. Peter E, Boulder, CO

    So, Obama is 'giving voice to the people' by silencing his rivals with a flood of advertisments that ignore issues and instead zombify the masses with empty slogans...

    June 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  183. Gordon H

    It his way of keeping his follower engage in the process which i find is a good thing ,plus isnt this aform of public finiancing.Jack tell them for me stop crying and let stick to the real issue,like why i pay 100 dollars to fill up sunday and on E on friday?

    Gordon from Maryland

    June 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  184. Rusty

    Jack, it matters a great deal but not for the reasons that many think. It matters because it is one more notch on the Obama belt of brilliance. He is not playing by the old rules but is forging a new direction (exactly what we need), and he has shown remarkable political, tactical and management skills, as well as excellent judgement, along the way. He is avoiding the very distatesful PACs and building a grass roots movement - which will continue to serve him well in more ways than just money as time goes on. No wonder the Secret Service call him 'Renegade'. I wonder what handle they would use for Wolf?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  185. Jonathan

    This whole thing about public financing of presidential elections made me for the first time be part of Obama one and a half million donors. I donated to the Obama cause today, which has become my cause aswell.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  186. Dwight from Ypsilanti

    Let's set the record straight. John McCain tried to opt out of public financing months before Obama decided to do so. Now he has the nerve to express outrage that Obama has opted out. Give me a break!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  187. Roger

    No. It dosn't matter. I'm not voting for him no matter what.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  188. Andrew

    People are never satisfied. First, Obama's called a naive idealist who can't cut it in the real world. Then, when he use a sensible and legal advantage, he is called a hypocrite and a liar. Obama haters will always find a way.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  189. Dennis Toivonen

    I am a republican and I think the decision by Obama makes alot of sense. The campaign finance law is a bad law. Mcain passed the law and he has to suffer with the results. People should not be limited in their right to free speech.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  190. Tom, Salisbury NC

    Of course not Jack, that's what eliteists do.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  191. Brenda Frazier

    Jack,

    Nope. Not going to do it! I'm not going to get mad at Senator Obama for not spending 85 million of our dollars on his campaign. The senator made the right decision.

    Brenda Frazier
    Mesquite, TX

    June 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  192. Don

    Wow. From reading these reader comments, you'd think that Democrats never engage in mudslinging and never use 527s for political purposes.

    As an independent, I can't say I'm surprised by any member of Congress going back on a pledge, but I can say I am disappointed. It is a classic case of the ends justify the means regardless of the ethics of the choice.

    Obama is pretty smart in terms of timing his announcement as well. He of course knew that McClellan was going to testify before Congress today and that the mainstream media (re: CNN etc.) would deem that a bigger story than his announcement.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  193. Shelley

    Does it end the war??? How about lower gas prices??? Will it help anyone hit by the flood or people who've lost their jobs??

    Then I don't really care. Actually, I think I'll go donate to his campaign.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  194. Kwame

    Of course it does Jake,to McSame. McSame has been flipping like a flap jack at IHOP, and you guys let him. Obama cant depend on the MSM to play it straight, so we the people will help him in this regard.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  195. Pugas-Az

    Remember "read my lips, no new taxes", so much for a politican's word. Are we not all suckers?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  196. Dean

    Jack,
    I have always disagreed with the campaign publc financing. I dont believe that tax dollars should be given to candidates running for office. If one wants to donate let each individual do so on their own. I think Obama did the right thing ethically, financially, and politically. I think that its funny that McCain and the Republicans are mad, this is a pure sign of fear that he will raise another 270 million from his supporters, without federal lobbyist money. Something that McCain surely could never do!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  197. Bob Ronney

    Sure it matters. Its knocks Obama down 1 rung on the President elect ladder. Its just too bad for McCain, Obama is still 100 rungs ahead.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  198. bartholomew Mcdowell

    Hello, Jack–This means that Obama will be truly representing the people, without being tied down to an out-dated system which places politicians in their corporate pockets. As a native american, sick of the neo-plasticity of recent America, I say: at last! A true man of the people, gifted with foresight and integrity...Come on, fellow citizens, let's unite for our shining star!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  199. Douglas McHenry

    A polititian turning down money? I love it! And that's all I got to say about that. (ala Forrest Gump)

    June 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  200. Cathy

    Last time I checked I was the public, so everytime I make a donation it is public financing. Obama is trying to win this election and put this country back on track so he would be stupid to take the public funding and limit himself to the tax payer money of only $84 mil.

    After the announcement, I went and donated again...and so should you. Let's take our country back TOGETHER!!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  201. Bella in Florida

    For people that don't mind if someone does not keep their word it does not matter. However ,for many people it does matter a lot. It means you have no integrity and you are not trustworthy. He has not won the Presidency yet and he is already breaking his promises. This is very serious because it shows a lot about his character,integrity and honesty.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  202. Annie, Atlanta

    Basically, the way I understand it is Obama said he'd accept public financing based on McCain agreeing to same. McCain didn't so Obama announced he would not. McCain then announced he would and started pointing the finger. It's a little slimy, don't you think?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  203. Don Benjamin

    Jack,

    I doesn't matter to me that Obama doesn't take Federal money, he will be saving hte taxpayers 80 million dollars, Hurray!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  204. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I don't think that John Q Public gives a damn about Obama rejecting public finance unless they are republicans. What we all should care about right now is the economy and gas prices and the mortgage crisis. There are far more important things to worry about right now. Only the media is making a big deal out of it like it is the end of the world.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  205. MJ

    Jack, it will matter alot more than it should if the media continues to beat it to death-much to the McCain camp's advantage. Obama NOT using his share of the fund shows some fiscal responsibility.
    MJ Elkhart, Indiana

    June 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  206. June

    No, no at all. If McCain could raise the kind of money Obama can he wouldn't take aby public money either. If this is the best issue McCain can come up with we Republicans are in deep trouble.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  207. Casey

    Given the 1.5+million small donors (like myself) supporting Obama, I think not. He IS publicly funded by a grassroots campaign of motivated individuals who really want to see change in this country.

    We all know what happens come October... the 527s run rampant. Because Obama asked me not to, I will not be donating to any other organization. This time, we WILL win, period.

    It's time for CHANGE.

    Yes, we can.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  208. Marianne L.

    Is this what Obama means with "change"? Are we to get a president that will "change" the way politics are done or the country is run? Or are we to get a president that will change his mind according to his own convenience? In any case, changing his mind might be a good thing, as opposed to being stubborn on disastrous policies. Between the typical Democratic flip-flopping and the Republican stubbornness, let the devil choose...

    June 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  209. Darren S.

    Sen. Obama vowed to negotiate with the Republican nomineee on whether or not to use public campaign financing, which he did, and oddly enough, John McCain's been using public riased money since being nominated and waited until after Barack Obama maed his decision first. More typical Washington D.C. tactics.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  210. charles

    Jack: Obama is using public financing. McCain just don't like his method of using it. Isn't private public small donations still public financing? It's just not limited to a certain amount. That's what McCain is upset about.Obama will get more to spend, and not be limited and caught by pac ads&527's. That have been the down fall in the past. I trust him he makes good decisions. A real good sign of a good leader. he said he'd use public money and he is he's not lying as McCain would like everyone to think. He's doing just as he said he would do.PUBLIC MONEY small public donations. BUT PUBLIC GOT IT?GET IT!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  211. Jess

    Got to make a donation to Obama tonight!

    People, let's save up from one of our lunches from the coming days and donate to Obama! We can do this – fasting for Obama!

    Gobama!!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  212. Mike, Spring, TX

    It's the first of many upcoming flip-flops.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  213. Interested non-American

    I don't mind a candidate who changes his former position (on anything) if it is the sensible thing to do. In this case, it is the sensible thing to do. Being free of public funding puts him at an advantage. I know, I know, the Republicans and a few others will say that the change of mind means that he is not a man of his word, but – sorry -it just makes sense. Better than to be so set in your ways that you can't change your former position even when you see a better way. McCain himself is not totally against veering from a former position (e.g. on the issue of departure from Iraq: "100 years"/"by 2015"/"Not important when" – who knows what next). To me the ability to know when to change a position is a positive thing when it's used wisely!!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  214. Joe from New Jersey

    Yes, Jack, it does. And I hope Senator Obama understands that as a supporter I am surprised at his arrogance and hypocrisy. When does the change begin?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  215. ricky curtis, new orleans

    It may hurt obama somewhat because the media will be more excited over his " flip flop " and not focus on Mccain flip flops that will make it seems only Sen. Obama is a "flip flopper". I think what Sen. Obama did was not a big deal unless if he was taking money from special interest groups.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  216. Burns

    Go Obama!!! Go Obama!!! I know you can make the best decision as a person, a father and the president of America. you not only have my support but blessing too.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  217. Bella in Florida

    The DNC and Obama camp were outraged when Hillary was asking for a re-vote in Florida and Michigan. Everyone was accusing her of wanting to change the rules in the middle of the game. What is this Obama? He pledged to use Public Financing and now he has changed his mind. I think McCain can benefit from this anyway because it exposes whoObama really is. A man who will do anything to be President.Shame on you Obama! You have no integrity.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  218. Justin from Wichita, KS

    No it doesn't matter. It only matters to the GOP because they have no other issue to run on. John McCain would have done the exact same thing, only problem is he can't drum up enough support to raise the kind of cash that Obama can. I'm glad that Obama decided to take this move, now he can combat this elections "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" that you know the GOP will put out on the front lines.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  219. Mertis in Atlanta

    Jack,

    Republicans=the morality police??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, hahahahahahahahaha....

    June 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  220. Ed Lawrence

    Yes it matters! Obama is clearly showing a dynamic approach in his leadership style, and has made the right decision on this one. After weighing the prospects, he has come to a win win decision for himself and the American people. It is not a flip flop to be turned off by the direction he was headed in (down the public funds road) because he found it full of lobbyists, and so now he rejects them. I give him credit that he stopped, looked around, and thought about a different possibility going forward. If our leaders would be less egotistical, perhaps they too could find a better idea once in a while.
    He will now be able to take the high road and offer something real.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  221. Abrahem

    I'm glad hes opting out of taking money from the taxpayers.

    Scottsdale, Az

    June 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  222. Alec

    Absolutely $0!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  223. Tony, Las Vegas NV

    Jack –

    Why do we care about THIS PARTICULAR issue when all around us, our countrie's infrastructure and way of life is literally collapsing around us? Frankly, I'm happy he's not taking the 85 MILLION dollars that will be added to our 9 TRILLION dollar national debt!

    That money could be better served elsewhere...Iowa or New Orleans for a start?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  224. Jim

    Hey Jack – it matters, it matters that Obama wins. The republicans always use any tactics they can to win, primarily lies and deceipt. With that in mind, the added money Obama can muster is ammo for the truth to be told!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  225. kenny

    Obama would be an idiot if he could raise 5 times as much money and didn't. Mccain needs to stop crying and start his retirement he's done stick a fork in him

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  226. Kristin from Dallas

    Jack,
    The 527's need to go. I'm glad that Obama opted out of public campaign financing. What can be more indicative of public support when individuals contribute up to the $2300 limit for a candidate. Donating a buck on a tax return is meaningless.

    Why stick with an earlier decision when it no longer make sense?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  227. David McGraw

    It doesn't. Nobody can honestly say they were surprised by this move. Not even John McCain. McCain is in trouble now, otherwise he wouldn't have pounced on an irrelevant issue like this. McCain now knows that the GOP doesn't have a financial edge and that they are in big – no, HUGE – trouble.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  228. Erica, Gilbert, AZ

    No, it doesn't matter. I support him on that decision.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  229. Kim - Arizona

    Why should Obama hold back by accepting public funds and its limitations? He is a clear favorite in this battle. No need for him to tie one of his hands behind his back just because McCain can't raise any money.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  230. Julie

    I am very proud of Obama for making it clear that he represents the American people and not the special interests. He is a saint.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  231. Joe O

    The only person that cares about this is John McCain because he knows Obama will raise 10 times more money than he ever could.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  232. TEXAN

    Does not matter. Obama is a smart man. He is able to raise ALOT from his supporters. This makes him the " people President " . His supporters feel like they are really a part of his campaign and take pride in helping him get elected. So why take public financing ? I am sure that Mc Cain would do the same if he felt that he could raise more money from his supporters. But...since he can not....he is griping about it.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  233. Lou Jones

    Does not matter one bit. Why is the media even talking about this? Do you think McCain would take public mone if he felt he could raise 300million from individual donors? Give me a break!! The republicans are howling at the moon because the wheels are falling off the wagon and the "straight" talk express.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  234. gwen

    Jack, it dosen't matter at all that Obama opt out of the Public Financeing, wouldn't you if you were in his shoes. You can bet your bottom dollar if McCain had the financing that Obama did he would do the same.
    I think Obama has made a couragous move, in trying to shut down Public Intrest groups in Washington. I think somewhere alone the way the Republicans forgot that the White House belone to the people.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  235. Ruth Page

    The deal was Obama would agree to public financing if McCain would agree to same. In case noone has noticed McCain is still hemming & hawing! Time has run out on that deal! And to boot Obama has the ultimate in public financing!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  236. Ben from Iowa

    In the end the economy and the war mean much more than this story. This story will disappear in the not to distant future. The true hypocrisy in the story lies with John McCain. If he could raise the amount of money Obama could he'd opt out as well.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  237. Susan

    It only matters to John McCain, who will run with this turn of events until he himself decides to opt out as well.

    MoveOn.org has already shuttered it's 527 in response to Sen. Obama's decision; voting and election power is finally returning to the people.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  238. kyle trager

    hey jack,

    The republicans are mad because now they can't "swift boat" obama the way they did to Kerry. Maybe this time they will have to face the democrat on real issues and not the ones they make up.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  239. Chris

    He changed his mind...how often don't we change our minds when new information is presented to us? I'm tired of hearing the flip-flop thing...that was 4 years ago. If we held everyone to every belief they've ever had, we'd still be living in the stone ages or under catholic crusades...someone had to decide at some point – this had to change and change it has. Let's focus on the real issues – ECONOMY!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  240. cheekbrown

    In a way, Obama IS taking public funds. He gets 90% of his $$ from us. So what's the problem?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  241. Jessie

    I think it shows great faith in the American voters who will support him. He'll be saving us tax dollars and won't be taking any money from voters who don't support him. Way to go Barack!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  242. Tim Quigley

    One important thing to consider is that Obama has told his supporters to forgo giving money to 527s. He has held this position for months. If McCain had any intention of not only taking public money BUST ALSO publicly distancing from and rebuking the 527s on the republican side, perhaps a deal could be reached. But, it is clear the GOP side would prefer to have these groups spread smear messages. Because of this, Obama's move is right on.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  243. kathy in half vote FL

    Jack,
    The Obamanites will never think their guy does anything wrong but I can tell you he "changes" with the wind. He is a "typical politican" who will do and say what it takes to get a vote. Not mine! Never!!! And I have never not voted. At least McCain is a man of his word!!!!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  244. homer

    The common man will donate to Obama while McCain can suck up all of the lobbiest,corporate, and specal interest money In the end the latter has ruined life for Americans for decades so lets see how Obama's plan works along with the average Joe's money.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  245. Mighty Mike

    It dosen't matter at all. The only thing that matters is who will turn this economy around. Gas, food, health care, jobs. What part of this the GOP is not getting ? This bad situation we're in was done on there watch.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  246. Rick

    Boy, Oh Boy, 500 million could sure shoot a lot of holes in swift boats.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  247. FRED kazee

    it just dont matter !!!!! Obama is going to win by a landslide!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  248. Shirleyanne Ratajczak

    Public Funds need to be used for the benefit of the American people. Give those funds to the Social Security or to pay down the National Debt.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  249. Tim

    Obama IS using public financing. There's no other words to describe a campaign financed by the public. This is just another case of Obama doing what's right and the GOP attacking him by dumbing it down and making it seem wrong. I hope Americans are smart enough to understand that Obama is rejecting the old version of public financing and, in turn, rejecting the old Washington way.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  250. James W. Blevins

    Obama really hasn't opted out of public financing - what he is doing is public financing at its best. He is right, these hate groups that the Republicans use extensively totally destroy the intent of government controlled public financing.

    Jom, Craig, CO

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  251. Jason LaCoste

    It really makes me want to give him another $100 special interest have ran this country too long. I donated to his campain for that reason before and now want to spend even more

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  252. Melissa

    "Change you can believe in". Give me a break. This is a broken promise to the American people. Politics as ususal. I guess he feels he can buy the presidency.

    Melissa
    Jacksonville, Florida

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  253. Joe

    It's not going to hurt him at all. What it does do is to show the American people that he is serious about changing the way business is done in Washington. Thanks for reminding me Jack it's time for me to make another donation to the campaign.

    Joe
    Virginia

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  254. Jon from Tempe, Az

    I think Barack Obama has brought up a significant point. The so called "Public Financing" is not very public at all. There are too many loopholes around it. With the DNC, RNC, special interest groups, and 527 groups it really is a joke. Obama is at least being honest in acknowledging this. McCain and the Republicans will stand under the veil of public financing but then will have millions of dollars spent by outside groups on them. That seems to sound like fraud to me.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  255. Jeneane Pence

    Obama is already running his campaign on public financing. He does not take money from PAC's or lobbyists, but from the general public, to whom he is accountable. That is the point. This shows good judgement, because he would be naiive and a fool to take public financing that appears to be a level playing field when, in fact, it is not. McCain refuses to stop the 527's, and has flip-flopped more than a baby on a waterbed.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  256. Anita

    Heck no it does not matter. It only matters to the Republicans. The master flip flopper McCain got what was coming to him. The GOP has lots of money and I am sure they will be just fine.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  257. Schalaine Ellisor

    It does not matter. What matters is getting elected so that we can get on with restoring our country. Restoring our schools, our job market, our standing in the free world, getting the heck out of Iraq, get the point!!!!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  258. Dora Round Rock, Texas

    By the people for the people and you cannot get more publicly funded than that, something John McCain and his 527s and lobbyists would not understand. This is like hitting them with holy water.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  259. Haruna Momodu

    It shows he is like any other politician. Flip flop. Where is the politics of hope? Give me a break ..you aint see nothing yet of Obama wonder

    Concerned citizen
    Newark, Delaware

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  260. karen

    It does not matter to me, McCain has changed positions so many times on issues that it makes my head spin. I am a little impressed that Obama is taking a very unpopular stand on this issue. He has been too"fair" this campaign season. He's finally showing some testicular fortitude.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  261. Marshall Stern

    Hi Jack,

    Sex and the city huh? In any case, the important principal behind public financing of campaigns is the idea of getting big corporations to stop hogging the access to politicians by buying them. Obama's approach of using millions of regular folks preserves that principle. As long as he remains true to that he is okay with me.

    M

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  262. Steven

    Obama agreed on a questionnaire to accept the public financing if his opponent did. McCain only officially agreed on the public financing option after Obama had made his choice. This is not a flip-flop, but rather a distortion by McCain. Besides, what happens to the 85 million dollars Obama didn't take?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  263. R Griffith

    I think it proves he is a candidate who does things differently, not what everyone else has done for decades. He has enough financial support to do this without public funds, and that is fine by me. I want a candidate who can react to a change in situation with a responsible reaction, not just following what everyone else has done. It makes sense to early on declare that you expect to need public financing, but to accept and appreciate the support of the people as it is given, and to recognize that for what it is. From what I can tell his financial support is mostly individuals and small groups with small donation which do not amount to selling access to the candidate – he is making himself available to everyone. I think it is great.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  264. Loren

    What Obama is doing is the ultimate form of public financing. I've given to a campaign for the first time in my life during the primary. I'm looking forward to giving in the general. My contributions are going to contribute to getting Obama elected and that's a great feeling. With 527s still kicking and screaming against our candidate, this is absolutely the right and only thing to do.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  265. Sally Saffer

    Like everything else in Washington, campaign financing doesn't work. I don't blame Obama for changing his mind. Maybe he didn't know how screwed up the current system is when he mistakenly thought he could work within it. At least we know where the money Obama is raising comes from - me for one: 65-yr.old retiree at $25.00 a pop!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  266. Bonnie Parker-Duke

    The other side has been lying to us for eight years and they do it with a straight face while making eye contact. At least Obama hasn't lied; he has merely changed his mind and is admitting it. Didn't the late Tim Russert's son just tell us that his father would advise both candidates to just admit it if they changed their minds?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  267. Marion Cole

    Doesn't anyone listen to what O'Bama says? He said he was for the public election fund but it needs reforming. He explained how it was being misused currently by special interest groups. He is keeping his promise to reform politics and people are jumping and twisting whatever he says and does. At least the news should be able to keep it straight. Aren't you supposed to be the objective voice and one with truth at the core. Cut though the BS and be fair.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  268. Charlotte

    Obama is not using my tax dollars. He is using the money from his supporters. No issue here.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  269. steve bramlett - alabama

    reforming campaign financing was touted to be a matter of ethics. If Obama didn't have the ability to raise funds like he does, he wouldn't have opted out of using public funds.

    This is more than just changing ones mind, this is changing ones mind on an ethical question (is it ethically right or wrong). He changed his view based on his ability to raise funds. This change was not based on new information that changed the ethical discussion, but was changed due to his ability to benefit from the change. Actually, this is an indictment of his ethics. What's next????

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  270. Beverly Cunha

    I just made my first donation to Obama's campaign today.

    So I guess if Barack's decision to mainly run the campaign on small private donations from people like me, the impact was to make me feel very good about throwing financial support behind him!

    (I am an ex-volunteer for the Hillary campaign so now I feel oblidged to go make another donation to Obama at HER web site. He should pick up her debt)

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  271. Kay in Arizona

    It matters because he gave his word that he would use the fund.
    It looks like Obama is in it for the money and his word means squat.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  272. Henry

    Obama thinks he has so much money already so it won't matter. He will save taxpayers a lot of money by rejecting public financing. As an Obama supporter, I would still continue to support him and I don't believe it will affect him in a huge way.

    Henry
    Buffalo, New York

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  273. Drew Danza

    Hello Jack,

    This is classic Republican strategy: pouncing on the opposition for changing his mind. I believe that the McCain campaign is going to take anything they can get to try and slander Obama. The bottom line is, campaign finance is no where near the top of the list for voters in November. With insane gas prices, an ailing economy and a bogged down conflict in Iraq, voters have bigger fish to fry. McCain is wasting his time and dollars trying to exploit this turnaround.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  274. CJ in Wheaton

    Well – how important is it for the President to keep his word? The answer to both questions is the same.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  275. jeff milligan

    I don't think the private funding issue will hurt Obama. All he and his surrogates have to do is run and re-run clips of McCain deciding to opt out when it was convenient to help his cash-strapped campaign earlier in the race raise much needed funds. Then he opted back in. Also, Obama's pledge was IF the 2 candidates could work out an agreement to both follow then he would agree. Given McCain's "senior moments" about his own position on public funding, I can understand Mr. Obama's reluctance to enter into such an agreement.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  276. Dave

    Jack,

    Who would you vote for? McCain who gets his money from special interest groups and from the taxes we pay, or Obama, whose funds come happily from the pockets of everyday Americans?

    Now that is a fresh change!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  277. Marty

    The spin is counterclockwise on this one. If McCain was turning down public funds (a position more consistent with traditional small government Republican platforms) and Obama accepting them (as one would expect of the Left), the Dems would be saying that McCain is in the pocket of big business. Instead, Obama says turning down public funds and taking private donations is responding to the will of the people. Interesting...

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  278. Mary

    It matters tremendously. It shows that Barack Obama is flexible. Should he get us into a war that turns out not to be a good idea, we can see that he is not afraid to change his mind about a bad idea. Holding his campaign to 85 million while the McCain camp receives 85 million PLUS the contributions from lobbyists and PACs that will dwarf what Obama has to spend would be a foolish error on his part. I'm glad to see he's using his common CENTS!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  279. jimmie carter

    Jack, it does not matter if Barack does not use public funding. He would be crazy to give up his built up stream of dollars. The only reason that Senator Mccain is not using public funds is because he cannot afford not too. During the Primary Campain he chose to use public funding when it suited him and stop using it when he thought he could opt out. John Mccain talks out of both sides of his mouth.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  280. Zack

    It does not matter to me that Obama is opting out of government financing. I never write off any of my tax money for any political activities.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  281. David Stafursky

    I think it drives the GOP out of their minds. They sling mud and nothing gets thrown back. So they have to pick on ANYTHING to try and stay afloat. If you look into McCain, he flips more than a fish on shore.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  282. tylar

    Who cares. If you had the option of receiving 85 million or 385 million you would be a fool to not take the 385, even if in the past you said you had a problem being given money. If he would have chosen to stay in public financing I would have thought he was showing bad judgment. I don't know where McCain finds the audacity to say that someone is not keeping their word. He can't even keep his own.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  283. Tracy

    Jack,
    I have never understood why the public should finance the campaigns. I think Barrak is doing it the correct way. If you want your candidate in office you donate. Why should my tax dollars go to just any Joe Shmoe that I may not want anywhere need the oval office. I stopped checking the box on the tax form when Bush was put into office (notice I did not say elected).
    Tracy

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  284. Julie Wise

    It matters. It shows that Senator Obama is smart. While he can beat Senator McCain in fundraising, the RNC beats the DNC. It also shows that with Senator Obama as president, at least 1.5 million citizens will have more influence over him than a handful of lobbyists and corporate money bags.
    Good for him!

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  285. Donna

    Jack,

    I'm in complete agreement with Obama rejecting public funding. The system is already broken when John McCain can (illegally) use Public Financing as collateral for a loan, try to pull out of the system when it's apparent that Obama is going to crush him in fundraising, only to quickly opt back in because the Feds are on to him trying to game the system.

    Besides, Obama IS getting public funding. 2 million members of the public have already funded his campaign, with more to follow.

    Donna from Phoenix

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  286. Kay, AZ

    Jack,
    I'm all for Obama not taking TAX PAYER money to finance his campaign...Too bad more candidates don't opt for the same. We are not a bottomless pit with unlimited funds.
    Only reason McCain is upset is because he is having problems collecting money for his campaign – Obama should not be punished for McCain's problems.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  287. Michael Smith, New Orleans

    No, all that matters is that he wins. I'm sure the Oil Club has lots of plans for Swift-Boat type ads to run on behalf of John McCain. Once again, Obama is taking the smart way.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  288. mare

    Matters little, because public tax funding is NOT what McCain's camp thrives on. Why did he spend last week with Dallas oil barons - because they and PACS and lobbyists are the real money source for Republicans Obama rejects that money.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  289. Kisha

    I am confused? Isn't his dicision to finance his campaign by the American people, public financing.

    Kisha
    Georgia

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  290. Robert Harrison

    It doesn't matter to me. In fact, it seems to be the smart thing to do. In reality, this goves foar in nullifying the fund raising of outside groups such as Swift Boaters and the like.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  291. Ed in Colorado

    Jack,

    I think it is a sign of independence that Obama opted out of public financing. His funding source is everyday america, not special interests. This allows him more freedom to institute change.

    I fully expect the special interests to attack him for this move. The guy is from Chicago – he knows what it means to seperate himself from "the family" yet he still has the courage to do it. This gives me real hope for change in the "good ole boy" system entrenched in Washington.

    Ed

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  292. John M. Levy

    If everybody who changes their minds are hippocrates, what are a lot of our beloved women. That is not to mention the fact that their is nothing illegal or immoral about it.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  293. Jonathan

    It matters a great deal, but not in the negative way critics would like you to believe. He has opted out of a ineffective campaign finance system that has historically opened doors for special interest groups to run the campaigns through party donations. Nobody has done this before. To say that isn't change is just plain stupid.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  294. Janice

    Obama has just proven to be no different than any other politian. His
    true character is beginning to surface

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  295. Humanity

    NONE! Mr. Obama should be PRAISED for opting out of this FRAUDULENT corporate and special interest backed finance system that is paid for by the tax payers. It ensures Obama runs a clean campaign free of Corporate and special interest funds, so that he is not foreced to "Repay" his debts to those special interests when he takes office like so many other presidents (including the one we have now) have been forced to do. McCain's campaign is simply using this to try to leverage themselves in a losing battle. The people will realize that Obama is doing the RIGHT THING dispite what he said earlier, people are allowed to change their minds, and Obama only did it to make his campaign that much more transparent than Mr. McCains.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  296. Glen from CA

    Obama hasn't done anything unethical, hurtful or illegal. He's just making use of the lucrative grassroots network his organization has fostered. As long as he doesn't go back on his promise to keel under to special interest money, his decision is fine with me. Just gives him more legitimate ammunition against the likes of Rove, Stone, Limbaugh and the rest of the Republican smear machine's zany cast.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  297. Troy

    It comes to basic math (no pun intended.) Barack Obama's Internet savvy supporters outnumber John McCain's 2-to-1. If the table was turned McCain would make the same choice but he knows he'll have more cash taking the federal funds. Republican's just got a "Swift" kick in the butt and their boat is sinking. Obama's decision means there won't be another 2004.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  298. Brooks - Houston, TX

    It doesn't make a bit of difference. I'm glad Obama made this choice. This is another great example of his good judgement and awareness of the appropriate time to CHANGE your strategy when there are better options. I only hope John McCain can use this example regarding the war in IRAQ.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  299. Helen

    If this is change I'll think I will stay with the staus quo....His new politics are even more murky than what we have had...But no worries if he doesn't get as much money as in the primary he can always flip-flop again and call it change. PLEASE enough already

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  300. Susan from Los Angeles

    It only matters to John McCain, who will run with this turn of events until he himself decides to opt out as well.

    MoveOn.org has already shuttered it’s 527 in response to Sen. Obama’s decision; voting and election power is finally returning to the people.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  301. Astounded

    Gee obama's a hypocrite... GO FIGURE. He's only proven that time and time again.... but I guess people want to be slapped before they will see the light. Depressing.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  302. tasha

    by not taking from the poor, to finance the rich. using only money he can raise, not taxpayer money. robin hood would be proud.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  303. Robert

    Here is another example of where they are trying to get off point and not focus on what really counts for most american (the economy, the war, education,immigration, etc). In the overall scheme of things that really matter Mr. Obama not accepting public funds is a moot point.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  304. Phillip

    This is politics at its finest. It is not Obama's fault that he suckered McCain into under-financing his campaign. He made John believe that public financing was the way to go. Now Obama has an unlimited amount of money to advertise and McCain is stuck with $85 million dollars to figure out his final push. I'm not sure why everyone thinks that it is hypocrisy when, in all reality, it is immaculate strategy.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  305. Ziadiva

    Obama is a realist. If a gazillion $$ are what it takes to win back the White House and the country from the idiots now in control, then, I'm all for Obama opting out of public financing. Do you think the $$ he turned down could be used to rebuild New Orleans? or to help rebuild the levees on the Mississippi?

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  306. Will from San Jose, CA

    He shouldn't have said he was going to use public funds. Although the irony of listening to Republicans complain about someone using private as opposed to public money is amusing.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  307. Deekang

    YES!!! To John McCain and his empty bank account.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  308. barbara lehman

    After all the Republicans have done, all I care about is getting Obama in the White House. Kerry was polite. Democrats are always polite. Now it's time to win for a change.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  309. Tyrrell

    As long as Obama isn't taking money from special interest groups and lobbyists, I don't see a problem. How about putting public officials under fire for taking "donated" money from these special interest groups. They are the ones being paid to start wars so that the four largest oil companies can contract oil out Iraq.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  310. Karl

    Hell we could only wish every election funded by the people that believe in you. Who in there right mind wants tax review use to elect someone the money is better used some where like medic care ! !
    That does not matter which country you are in. Have a great day1

    June 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  311. Michael

    Jack,
    I really don't think it matters, beyond a couple of days of media hype... However, to address those who say Obama is flip-flopping, he never promised to take the Public Financing – he said his campaign would “aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." But, it seemed that once they realized that they could get so MANY more donors from their support base, that they saw no need to pursue it.

    They seriously considered it, and even tried to discuss with the McCain campaign about it, but they made the wise decision, I think. So, again, OBAMA NEVER MADE THE PLEDGE TO TAKE THE PUBLIC FINANCING.

    June 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm |