Barack Obama promised change. And he is now going to have to raise a lot of it. Obama became the first major presidential candidate since I was six years old to decline public financing of his campaign. The New York Times catches you up on your history on this. Obama will now have to raise his own cash. I don’t believe Obama fully promised to go the taxpayer route when he talked about this earlier in the campaign. But I think it’s safe to say many people expected him to. John McCain has apparently decided to stick with public financing. Now I guess we’ll see just how good Obama’s internet-driven, money-raising machine is. Here’s how Obama explains it to his supporters:
Since we announced our decision not to accept taxpayer funds for the general election, tens of thousands of people like you have come forward to declare their independence from a broken system. This decision frees us to build a movement of millions of people giving whatever they can afford to a campaign that is truly reforming the way our political process works. It also frees us to take our campaign for change to parts of the country where Democratic presidential candidates haven’t spent too much time in the past.
Sure, we’re on the air in places like Ohio and Florida, the typical battleground states. But we’re also on the air in North Dakota, Montana, and Alaska — places that have emerged as competitive because of the unprecedented grassroots energy supporting our campaign. These ads are supporting a 50-state ground operation that is being built right now by staff, volunteers, and thousands of Obama Organizing Fellows. But we have our work cut out for us, and we need to grow this movement. Right now, you can declare your independence and help us run a campaign that is funded by the people and for the people.
Add your voice to our movement by making a matching donation now:
Choosing not to accept these taxpayer funds was not an easy decision. I remain committed to fundamental campaign finance reform, and as president I will work to fix this broken system. But we’re facing opponents who have become masters at gaming the broken system as it stands today — collecting money from Washington lobbyists, special interest PACs, and relying on so-called 527 groups that can take unlimited contributions to peddle lies and smears. We have chosen to do things differently.