From CBS News' John Bentley:
MINNEAPOLIS – John McCain had harsh words today for his Democratic rival's decision to opt out of public financing. "A little over a year ago, there was a questionnaire sent out to me and to Sen. Obama that said, 'If your opponent will take public financing, will you?' and I said, 'Of course.' And he signed his name to a piece of paper that said if the Republican nominee takes public financing, then he would, too. Well--and he signed his name to it," McCain told a group of fundraisers here today. "His status has changed from what was clearly not a frontrunner status to one that now has the ability to raise a lot of money. He has reversed his position on that. He has reversed his position on a number of issues."
McCain's campaign claims that Obama said he would take public financing, but went back on that pledge because he can raise more money than the $84 million limit prescribed by public financing laws. On his website, Obama said that he would be at a competitive disadvantage if he chose to accept public financing. "The public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system," Obama said. "John McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we've already seen that he's 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."
Obama's decision will undoubtedly give him an advantage in fundraising for the general election. He has raised $250 million through the end of April, out-raising McCain by more than 3 to 1. The Republican candidate said that he would accept public financing for his campaign.