In an AP news analysis discussing Sen. Barack Obama's decision to opt out of public financing, Liz Sidoti claimed that "the only outside groups running ads in earnest so far are those aligned with Obama." However, independent group Freedom's Watch has put out ads attacking Obama over tax and health care issues, and the Vets for Freedom political action committee has run television ads attacking Obama over issues related to the Iraq war.
In a June 19 Associated Press news analysis discussing Sen. Barack Obama's decision not to participate in the public financing system during the general election, writer Liz Sidoti claimed that "the only outside groups running ads in earnest so far are those aligned with Obama -- and running commercials against [Sen. John] McCain." In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, "outside groups" have run ads attacking Obama, including Freedom's Watch, which, in the run-up to two special congressional elections In Louisiana and Mississippi, ran television ads linking Democratic congressional candidates Rep. Don Cazayoux (LA) and Rep. Travis Childers (MS) to Obama, claiming that Obama and Childers would levy "a $2,600 tax increase" on "many Mississippi families" and that Obama and Cazayoux are behind "a big government scheme" for health care that would "cost up to 65 billion dollars."
Moreover, the Vets for Freedom political action committee launched two ads in May attacking Obama over issues related to the Iraq war. Until recently, Vets for Freedom featured two surrogates of Sen. John McCain -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) -- as members of its Policy Board of Advisors.
In her June 19 analysis, "Obama chose winning over his word," Sidoti wrote:
Obama made the money announcement in a video message to supporters -- and sought to empower them to give more.
"You've fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford," Obama said in an appeal seeking donations from $25 to $2,300 and beyond.
"Let's build the first general election campaign that's truly funded by the American people," Obama said -- ignoring the fact that the system he's opting out of is paid for by taxpayers who donate $3 to the fund when they file their tax returns.
Obama blamed his decision in part on McCain and "the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups." But he failed to mention that the only outside groups running ads in earnest so far are those aligned with Obama -- and running commercials against McCain.