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Monday, January 22, 2007
Clinton won't accept public funds for presidential campaign
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton will not accept public funding in either her primary presidential campaign or in the general election, a top aide to the New York Democrat tells CNN.

In doing so, Clinton will be allowed to raise and spend an unlimited amount of funds for her presidential bid. The decision was made "in recognition of the cost" of the 2008 contest, according to Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson.

If she wins the Democratic nomination, she would become the first nominee of a major party to refuse the federal lump sum offered to general election candidates. In 2004, both President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry accepted the general election funds, almost $75 million each. In exchange, they agreed to observe spending limits and not raise funds on their own.

The former First Lady is not the first presidential candidate to forgo federal matching funds during the primaries. Bush opted out of the program in both his 2000 and 2004 bids, and Democrats Howard Dean and John Kerry refused matching funds in November 2003.

-- CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley and Robert Yoon
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