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Obama Flip-Flops on Public Campaign Financing

Barack Obama isn't keeping his campaign promises...

Obama's campaign walked back from a proposal the Illinois senator made last year to accept public financing for the general election if the Republican nominee also agreed to do so. Such a commitment would level the financial playing field with the apparent GOP nominee, John McCain, whose campaign has had a harder time raising money than Obama, who has broken all fundraising records.

Obama's campaign said accepting public financing was an option he would consider if he wins the nomination, rather than a hard pledge.

Clinton advisers seized on the apparent shift, suggesting highlighted Obama's pattern of making promises to voters and revising them later as circumstances change.

"When a campaign is based on promises and wonderful oratory, let's take a look at those promises," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson told reporters on a conference call.

Obama made a campaign promise which he apparently has no problem breaking. Is it his inexperience that has him making these promises without thinking it all the way through? (If so, can we afford to have Obama negotiating with world leaders if he'll be making promises he can't or won't keep?)

Or is it that he in fact had no real commitment to keeping the promise? It was just something he said in the rah-rah enthusiasm of the moment?

No wonder he's afraid to debate Clinton all out, he keeps making mistakes. Wolfson points to this debate gaffe as another example of Obama flip-flopping:

Barack Obama: "I NEVER said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer..."

He's all things to all people, just ask him - he'll tell you whatever it is you want to hear... even if the words aren't his own.


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Rating: 2.3/5 (6 votes cast)


Comments (10)

mantis:

You could let the man speak for himself on the issue.

I for one would love to see such an agreement come to pass, but we are dealing with Republicans here.

mantis:

Btw, this is exactly what Obama said back in November:

My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general 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. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.

And what he said last week,

"It would be presumptuous of me to say now that I'm locking myself into something when I don't even know if the other side is going to agree to it."

does not conflict with that.

And of course Senator Clinton has already said she will not use public financing if she is the nominee. Her objections, and yours, have nothing to do with principle, nothing to do with campaign finance, and everything to do with manufacturing a gotcha moment. If Obama and McCain do not go with public financing, I will be disappointed, even moreso if it is because Obama changed his mind because of his fundraising advantage, but as of yet he's has not gone back on his pledge, and any attempt to portray it as such is dishonest.

Here's a question. As a Democrat, why is it that you, and the Clinton campaign, seem so intent on destroying the party? Odd, that.

Lee Ward:

"It would be presumptuous of me to say now that I'm locking myself into something when I don't even know if the other side is going to agree to it."

He's squirming - why can't he just say yes?
McCain said he's agreed to it, so there is no longer a situation where "I don't even know if the other side is going to agree to it." The other side has said yes, they agree to it.

Senator John McCain's presidential campaign said Thursday that it stood by a year-old pledge made with Senator Barack Obama that each would accept public financing for the general election if the nominee of the opposing party did the same. But Mr. Obama's campaign refused to reaffirm its earlier commitment."

Then you said:

And of course Senator Clinton has already said she will not use public financing if she is the nominee. Her objections, and yours, have nothing to do with principle, nothing to do with campaign finance, and everything to do with manufacturing a gotcha moment.

This has nothing to do with Clinton, it has everything to do with Obama's integrity, and he's sliding sideways.

"As a Democrat, why is it that you, and the Clinton campaign, seem so intent on destroying the party? Odd, that."

Why are your reducing a discussion of your candidates' wishy-washy slimy sideway's flip-flopping down to a personal attack on me?

Obama has flip-flopped, and you attack me -

And since when is Obama "the Democratic Party" Jeebus - he's only one candidate - when did he take the deed to the whole dang party?

mantis:

He's squirming - why can't he just say yes?
McCain said he's agreed to it, so there is no longer a situation where "I don't even know if the other side is going to agree to it." The other side has said yes, they agree to it.

On a basic framework, yes, but details do matter, and they must be agreed upon. If McCain's campaign wants to agree to public financing on its face, but they also want to participate in fundraising for all sorts of outside groups that the GOP depends on, then its a different story, now isn't it?

This has nothing to do with Clinton, it has everything to do with Obama's integrity, and he's sliding sideways.

We'll see. He hasn't gone back on anything, yet. He's not the nominee yet; no agreements have been reached with the Republican nominee.

Why are your reducing a discussion of your candidates' wishy-washy slimy sideway's flip-flopping down to a personal attack on me?

I'm not; it was more of a general question.

Obama has flip-flopped, and you attack me -

Well, you're dishonest, for one. Very dishonest, and repeatedly, about a candidate in your own party.

And since when is Obama "the Democratic Party" Jeebus - he's only one candidate - when did he take the deed to the whole dang party?

You misunderstand me. The Clinton campaign, which you support, often in very dishonest ways, seems bent on destroying the party. Not because they oppose the other candidate, but the manner in which they do it. They are now talking about going after pledged delegates. Of course the pledged delegates can change their minds within the rules, and that's fine. But by pushing for that, if successful, the Clinton campaign will drive a wedge right through the party.

Voters and states are proclaimed insignificant, moderates and independents who could be pulled into the party are dismissed as unworthy interlopers, and now a 527 group has been set up to attack Obama in Ohio (too bad there are not medals for them to question).

In addition, while I can think of no criticism from Obama that would harm Clinton or the party's chances in November, everything coming from the Clinton campaign is designed to damage him as a candidate going forward as much if not more than it impacts him now. Clinton is looking less interesting in winning the nomination than helping Republicans beat Obama.

In short, your side seems content to destroy the party in order to win, and it's only going to get worse now that Sen. Clinton is on the ropes. With the Republican party in shambles, the Democrats have a real chance to get their shit together and do something here, and you guys seem intent on tearing it to pieces.

Lee Ward:

You weren't paying close attention when Obama went on the attack back in late October of last year.

He was down 30 points in the poll, and he came out swinging, claiming in the next debate that Clinton wasn't being honest with the American people. His attacks become more and more bold with each passing week.

Barack Obama owes the success of his candidacy to his launch of attacks against the frontrunner Hillary Clinton, but he plays the victim so well... aided by his loyal minions who conveniently forget how dismal Obama's chances were before he launched his attacks.

Link to Obama's shift to attack mode against Clinton - Hope was on the Ropes in late October... until...

mantis:

Yeah, yeah, you've linked back to your own post many times claiming that's when Obama went negative and opened the floodgates by answering a question "no."

Of course you neglected to provide the rest of the quote, where Obama said,

"I don't think people know what her agenda exactly is," Obama said, citing Social Security, Iraq and Iran as issues on which he said she had not been entirely forthcoming. "Now it's been very deft politically, but one of the things that I firmly believe is that we've got to be clear with the American people right now about the important choices that we're going to need to make in order to get a mandate for change, not to try to obfuscate and avoid being a target in the general election and then find yourself governing without any support for any bold propositions."

Wow, what an attack! Once again, issues she was not forthcoming on (which you excused her for - hey, it's politics!) are pointed out. This is an attack? You say,

Barack Obama owes the success of his candidacy to his launch of attacks against the frontrunner Hillary Clinton

What attacks? Is that it? All you've got is he said she hasn't been forthcoming on some issues back in October? Seriously?

I notice you ignored everything else I talked about, in addition to ignoring the content of Obama's response in USA Today. No wonder you're trying to pass off bullshit parody videos as genuine. What an embarrassment.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Barack announced he was coming out on the attack, Mantis, and he did.

Senator Barack Obama said he would start confronting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton more directly and forcefully, declaring that she had not been candid in describing her views on critical policy issues, as he tried to address alarm among supporters that his lack of assertiveness had allowed her to dominate the presidential race.

And he did, and it was successful.

mantis:

Bzzzzzz....what attacks? If assertiveness = attack, then your candidate has been on the attack since the beginning.

Point to at least one comment that can be considered an attack by a reasonable person.

Lee Ward:

You have to actually follow links and read what reported. Quit expecting it all to be spoon fed to you, mantis.

mantis:

What links? The only link you gave was the one I provided the full text from. It wasn't an attack to any reasonable person. You then try to support that with a quote telling us Obama said he would confront Clinton more directly and forcefully, referring to the non-attack I quoted the full text of.

If you are going to make a claim, you have to back it up to make it believable. Where are the attacks?


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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