CNN's Campbell Brown Attacks Obama's 'Broken Promise' on Funding

Campbell Brown, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgOn Tuesday's Election Center program, CNN anchor Campbell Brown criticized Barack Obama's decision earlier this year to break his November 2007 pledge to accept public financing of his presidential campaign: “For this last week, Senator Obama will be rolling in dough. His commercials, his get-out-the-vote effort, will, as the pundits have said, dwarf the McCain campaign's final push. But, in fairness, you have to admit, he is getting there, in part, on a broken promise.”

Brown's attack, which she made in her regular “Cutting Through the Bull” commentary at the beginning of her program, came 24 hours before Obama is scheduled to run a 30-minute infomercial on five television networks. She began her commentary by describing how “Barack Obama is loaded, way more loaded than any presidential candidate has ever been before at this stage in the campaign. Just to throw a number out, he's raised well over $600 million since the start of the campaign, close to what George Bush and John Kerry raised combined in 2004.”

The CNN anchor then reminded her viewers of Obama's public financing promise: “One year ago, he made a promise. He pledged to accept public financing, to work with the Republican nominee to ensure that they both operated within those limits. And then it became clear to Senator Obama and his campaign that he was going to be able to raise on his own far more cash than he would get with public financing. So, Obama went back on his word. He broke his promise...”

Towards the end of the segment, Brown quoted from former senator and Obama supporter Bob Kerrey to hint that Obama is a hypocrite: “On this issue today, former Senator Bob Kerrey, an Obama supporter, writes in The New York Post quote, 'A hypocrite is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue, who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings, and that, it seems to me, is what we are doing now.'”

The full transcrpt of Campbell Brown's commentary, which began one minute into the 8 pm Eastern hour of Tuesday's Election Center program:

CAMPBELL BROWN: First, though, 'Cutting Through the Bull' -- you may have heard by now that tomorrow night, Barack Obama will be on five different TV networks speaking directly to the American people. He bought 30 minutes of air time from the different networks, a very expensive purchase. But, hey, he can afford it. Barack Obama is loaded, way more loaded than John McCain, way more loaded than any presidential candidate has ever been before at this stage in the campaign. Just to throw a number out, he's raised well over $600 million since the start of the campaign, close to what George Bush and John Kerry raised combined in 2004.

Without question, Obama has set the bar at new heights with a truly staggering sum of cash. And that is why, as we approach this November, it's worth reminding ourselves what Barack Obama said last November. One year ago, he made a promise. He pledged to accept public financing, to work with the Republican nominee to ensure that they both operated within those limits. And then it became clear to Senator Obama and his campaign that he was going to be able to raise on his own far more cash than he would get with public financing. So, Obama went back on his word. He broke his promise, and he explained it by arguing that the system is broken, and that Republicans know how to work the system to their advantage. He argued he would need all that cash to fight the ruthless attacks of 527s, those independent groups, like the Swift Boat Vets. It's funny though, rather -- those attacks never really materialized this cycle. The Washington Post pointed out recently that the bad economy has meant a cash shortage among the 527s, and that this election year, they have been far, far less influential, and the courageous among Obama's own supporters concede this decision was really made for one reason, simply because it was to Obama's financial advantage.

On this issue today, former Senator Bob Kerrey, an Obama supporter, writes in The New York Post quote, 'A hypocrite is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue, who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings, and that, it seems to me, is what we are doing now.' For this last week, Senator Obama will be rolling in dough. His commercials, his get-out-the-vote effort, will, as the pundits have said, dwarf the McCain campaign's final push. But, in fairness, you have to admit, he is getting there, in part, on a broken promise.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center