Republican National Committee research on what Obama has said about public campaign financing.

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FROM THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE………

OBAMA VS. OBAMA ON PUBLIC FINANCING

After Supporting Public Financing When It Was In His Interest To Do So, Obama Now Claims System Is “Broken” And Opts Out For General Election

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Today, Barack Obama Announced He Will Opt Out Of The Public Financing System In The General Election:

Obama Has Declined Public Financing In The General Election, Calling It A “Broken System.” “In a web video emailed to supporters, Obama asks his supporters to help him ‘declare our independence from a broken system.’ Of course, it’s not so much a broken system that explains why he’s passing on the FEC’s $80+million. He will easily raise more than he could ever get in public funding.” (Jonathan Martin, “Obama Opts Out Of Public Financing,” The Politico’s “Jonathan Martin” Blog, www.politico.com, 6/19/08)

FLASHBACK: Earlier In His Presidential Campaign, Obama Claimed To Support The Public Financing System:

“Mr. Obama Was The Candidate Who Proposed The [Public Financing] Pledge In The First Place, In February 2007, A Time When He Was Not Raising The Prodigious Sums He Is Now.” (Elisabeth Bumiller, “Skirmishing By McCain And Obama On Financing,” The New York Times, 2/15/08)

In April 2008, Obama Claimed He “Would Be Very Interested In Pursuing Public Financing…” Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “If you can get that agreement, you would go for a publicly financed campaign?” Obama: “What I don’t intend to do is to allow huge amounts of money to be spent by the RNC, the Republican National Committee, or by organizations like the Swift Boat organization, and just stand there without — (cross talk).” Wallace: “But if you get that agreement?” Obama: “I would be very interested in pursuing public financing, because I think not every candidate is going to be able to do what I’ve done in this campaign, and I think it’s important to think about future campaigns.” (Fox New s’ “Fox News Sunday,” 4/27/08)

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In Response To A 2007 Questionnaire, Obama Said He Would Accept Public Funding In General Election. Question: “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.” (Sen. Barack Obama, “Presidential Candidate Questionnaire,” Midwest Democracy Network, www.commoncause.org, 11/27/07)

* Obama Even Referred To His Plan As A “Fundraising Pledge” For His Opponents To Accept. Obama: “In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 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.” (Sen. Barack Obama, “Presidential Candidate Questionnaire,” Midwest Democracy Network, www.commoncause.org, 11/2 7/07)

The Washington Post: “When it was in Mr. Obama’s interest to present himself as the ethical savior of an imperiled campaign finance system, he was happy to do so, especially since it didn’t seem especially likely at the time that he’d be the nominee. But the real test of a candidate is whether he will stick by an announced principle even when that’s against his own interest. Now Mr. Obama could become the first nominee since Watergate to run a campaign fueled entirely by private money.” (Editorial, “A Lapsed Principle,” The Washington Post, 3/14/08)

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