WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday he will bypass the federal public financing system in the general election, abandoning an earlier commitment to take the money if his Republican rival did as well.
This is a response to Common Cause in November 2007:
If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo
private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential
public financing system?
OBAMA: Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns
combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of
moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State
Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (DWI)
bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed
a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election.
My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return
excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general
election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they
would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election.
The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (r-
AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic
nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to
preserve a publicly financed general election.
UPDATE: Patterico saw this coming a week ago... Sen Obama's word is definitely not his bond... he's as faithful as his options...
UPDATE #2: McCain campaign's statement on Obama's broken promise... "“Today, Barack Obama has revealed himself to be just another typical politician who will do and say whatever is most expedient for Barack Obama.
“The true test of a candidate for President is whether he will stand on principle and keep his word to the American people. Barack Obama has failed that test today, and his reversal of his promise to participate in the public finance system undermines his call for a new type of politics.
“Barack Obama is now the first presidential candidate since Watergate to run a campaign entirely on private funds. This decision will have far-reaching and extraordinary consequences that will weaken and undermine the public financing system.”