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Obama Announces Financing Decision On Video

Barack Obama announced his decision to forgo public financing of his presidential campaign in a video e-mailed to supporters this morning:

Here's the full script of the video:

Hi, this is Barack Obama.
I have an important announcement and I wanted all of you - the people who built this movement from the bottom-up - to hear it first. We've made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election. This means we'll be forgoing more than $80 million in public funds during the final months of this election.
It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections. But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we've already seen that he's not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.
From the very beginning of this campaign, I have asked my supporters to avoid that kind of unregulated activity and join us in building a new kind of politics - and you have. Instead of forcing us to rely on millions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs, you've fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford. And because you did, we've built a grassroots movement of over 1.5 million Americans. We've won the Democratic nomination by relying on ordinary people coming together to achieve extraordinary things.
You've already changed the way campaigns are funded because you know that's the only way we can truly change how Washington works. And that's the path we will continue in this general election. I'm asking you to try to do something that's never been done before. Declare our independence from a broken system, and run the type of campaign that reflects the grassroots values that have already changed our politics and brought us this far.
If we don't stand together, the broken system we have now, a system where special interests drown out the voices of the American people will continue to erode our politics and prevent the possibility of real change. That's why we must act. The stakes are higher than ever, and people are counting on us.
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 us. You and me. This is our moment and our country is depending on us. So join me, and declare your independence from this broken system and let's build the first general election campaign that's truly funded by the American people. With this decision this campaign is in your hands in a way that no campaign has ever been before. Now is the time to act. Thank you so much.

This latest Obama video is a continuation of the trend of presidential candidates announcing big decisions on video, in an unfiltered setting. (Remember Hillary Clinton's hello and goodbye?)

-- Ed O'Keefe and Emily Freifeld

By Ed O'Keefe |  June 19, 2008; 10:00 AM ET Barack Obama
Previous: Pimping The 'Straight Talk Express' | Next: Obama Launches Nationwide Ad Campaign


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I gave money to Obama for the Democratic primary, but I'm not giving him a dime for the general election. Shame on him for rejecting public financing... I refuse to enable more runaway spending for political advertising.

Posted by: Stephen | June 19, 2008 2:05 PM

What an hypocrite! after declaring in favor of public financing, he now rejects it.

Maybe he is thinking that there are still several fools there who will make a contribution to pay for the fat salaries of his campaign and staff. Why should I give $5 dollars to help enrich these political animals when all they would do when they are in power is to screw you in favor of those corrupt businessmen and influence peddlers.

Posted by: tim591 | June 19, 2008 4:42 PM

Why would you vote for Obama when you are a Republican

I gave money to Obama for the Democratic primary, but I'm not giving him a dime for the general election. Shame on him for rejecting public financing... I refuse to enable more runaway spending for political advertising.

Posted by: Stephen | June 19, 2008 2:05 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 8:37 PM

So I suppose it'd be better for Obama to wait to be "Swift-boated", or play the same rule-bending games that the RNC does?

I fail to see how Obama will bow to influence peddlers when he rejects all donations of any amount from lobbyists. This decision follows the spirit, of not the letter, of public financing. I, for one, will donate more because of this decision.

Posted by: Justin | June 19, 2008 8:39 PM

Quite obvious isn't it? The Obama campaign feels they have enough funds to outspend Mr. McCain. This is another example of the two faces of Senator Obama.

Posted by: Ed | June 20, 2008 12:18 PM

Follow the money stupid!!!!

Posted by: jackmack74 | June 20, 2008 12:36 PM

WE ARE THE ONES...that we've been waiting for...WE ARE THE ONES...that are funding Obama...WE are the "public" that HE discovered and tapped into. WE are one and a half million strong. WE give in small amnounts, but we give steadily, and often.
HE gets not only our little bit of money, he gets "US"

WE are are many but we have become one.

WE recognize there are some who don't like this coming together. Buit, that is their problem. WE welcome all like minded folk who are looking for Change.

We borrow the words of Barack Obama as best we can remember them:
"With a new wind at our backs, we take the journey across this great country. With a message that we carry which says, out of many, we are one.

While we breath we will hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us we can't, we shall respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people, the three simple words....YES... WE CAN.."

WE ain't gonna let npobody turn us 'round...

Posted by: Hank Wilfong | June 20, 2008 3:36 PM

Barack is doing what I expect him to do,get away from the old politics. Good for him. We the people....this is Barack's whole message. You get what you pay for..pay nothing you get Bush politics.

Posted by: Anthony Sutton | June 22, 2008 4:57 PM

I have donated, and when I have an extra $25 or so from money saved from ride-sharing, I will continue to donate in small sums. This is the very first time I've been as engaged in Politics and the issues, and it IS about WE the People, and change we can count on! I'm proud of the new politics Obama is putting into place. Agreeing with Hank... Yes WE Can!

Posted by: BaracktheVote | June 24, 2008 6:48 PM

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