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Friday, March 02, 2007
No public funding pledge for Edwards
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards expressed his support Thursday for public financing of presidential campaigns through an aide, but was unwilling to pledge to accept public funding if he becomes the nominee and his general election opponent agrees to do the same, as both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have agreed to do.

Though not ruling out the option entirely, Edwards deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince says the publicly funded grant available to party nominees in the general election, roughly $84 million in 2008, will not be enough for campaigns to respond to attacks from independent groups. Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton have both said they would fund their White House bids solely from private funds and decline up to $105 million in public money.

The Federal Election Commission ruled Thursday that presidential candidates may tentatively raise private general election funds, while preserving the option of accepting public funds at a later date.

The full statement from Edwards Deputy Campaign Manager Jonathan Prince:

"John Edwards strongly believes we need public financing for elections in America. But the Swift Boats taught us that the Republicans will stop at nothing to hold on to power, and the grant money simply hasn't kept pace with media prices, handicapping a campaign's ability to respond to the attacks of underground groups. We'll make a decision at the time about the best way to ensure we have the maximum possible resources to win. The only way we're ever going to have real public financing is to put a Democrat in the White House."

-- CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon
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