Arguing in a video message to supporters that “the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken,” Barack Obama announced Thursday that he will not accept public funds. John McCain would like to cast that decision as a major flip-flop, but as the Los Angeles Times notes, he’s got issues of his own.
Los Angeles Times / Opinion L.A.:
This move not only makes Obama the first major candidate in more than 30 years to reject public funding (which forbids candidates from raising private funds), but also goes back on his very public indications he would agree to public funding. (See an earlier Times’ editorial admonishing Obama for waffling on his pledge.)
Needless to say, McCain has been gleefully calling foul all morning—he can afford to point fingers, in part because his fundraising numbers are pretty anemic compared to Obama’s.
But McCain is no angel, either. Remember when he allegedly used public funds as backup to apply for a loan, and then tried immediately to withdraw from the public funding system? (Attempting to escape, ironically, from the very system he helped set up.) The outraged Dems filed suit shortly thereafter. The Federal Election Commission, lacking quorum, couldn’t do much about it, either—which probably suited McCain just fine.