Obama Says No To Public Financing

Asks supporters to help him run first presidential campaign in decades without public funds.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama (D-IL) has rejected using $80 million in public funds for the fall campaign.

Obama said in a statement released today that he supports public financing, but not the current system for presidential candidates where independent groups can spend unlimited millions while candidates who take the public funds are bound by spending limits.

In 2004, Sen. John Kerry, (D-MA), that year’s democratic nominee, accepted public financing but ran out of money after the primaries and before the party’s convention, after which the public funds become available. That shortfall allowed the GOP to portray Kerry in unfavorable lights to voters while Kerry was unable to respond with his own television commercials.

Obama’s decision will surely be controversial.

Here are his remarks: