Obama Opts Out of Public Financing

Says system 'as it exists is broken,' and opponents 'masters at gaming' it
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 9:24 AM CDT
Barack Obama, seen here in a file photo dated June 17th, 2008, will no longer receive public financial support for the presidential election.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has opted out of public financing in the general election, the AP reports, reversing a joint pledge made last year with John McCain to spend only the $84 million in taxpayer cash between the party conventions and Election Day. While McCain appears set to accept public financing, Obama has since proved a fundraising juggernaut—and has long hinted he’d stick with private cash.

“It’s not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing,” Obama explained in a video message. But the campaign finance law “as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system.” To date, the Chicagoan has raised more than $265 million.