Obama will not take public campaign financing for general election; once said wanted to negotiate a deal with GOP nominee. Gibbs: It was “an option.”

SHARE Obama will not take public campaign financing for general election; once said wanted to negotiate a deal with GOP nominee. Gibbs: It was “an option.”

WASHINGTON–Presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) riding on a wave of unprecedented and seemingly unlimited fund-raising capacity, announced Thursday he will reject public financing for his general election bid against Sen. John McCain (R-Az.). At one time Obama said he wanted to try to negotiate a deal with whoever would be his GOP rival to stop the fund-raising race and agree to both running their bids with public funds.

Though Obama has hit historic heights in getting small donors, mainly through a successful Internet network, an army of micro-donors is not the same as public funding. Obama is trying to make the case that it sort of is.

Communications chief Robert Gibbs just told me Obama had only said it was an “option.” Gibbs and Obama campaign attorney Robert Bauer are about to brief a roomful of reporters at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor.

Obama taped this video appeal in Washingto to explain what to many will seem a reveral of course. <a href=" https://donate.barackobama.com/page/contribute/bignews?source=20080619_PF_ND_G”>LINK

This from Obama…..

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. Weve made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election. This means well be forgoing more than $80 million in public funds during the final months of this election.

Its 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 whove become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCains campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And weve already seen that hes 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, youve fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford. And because you did, weve built a grassroots movement of over 1.5 million Americans. Weve won the Democratic nomination by relying on ordinary people coming together to achieve extraordinary things.

Youve already changed the way campaigns are funded because you know thats the only way we can truly change how Washington works. And thats the path we will continue in this general election. Im asking you to try to do something thats 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 dont 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. Thats 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 lets build the first general election campaign thats 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.

The Latest
Pet owners beware; the flea population in the Chicago area will be higher this summer, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council.
The Cubs radio analyst, a Southwest Side son, spent a day reliving his past — and the emotions came flooding back.
Early lines for October matchup in South Bend reveal professional bettors’ thought process.
Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers has been off the job since June 7 and no talks are scheduled.
At least nine people died nationwide and an estimated 11,500 were injured last year in accidents involving fireworks, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.