08:47 19Jun2008 RPT-OBAMA SAYS HE'S DECIDED TO OPT OUT OF PUBLIC FINANCING IN U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Thursday he has decided to forgo public financing of his election campaign against Republican John McCain.
The decision frees him up to collect money privately, which could be a help to him strategically ahead of November's election. During the Democratic primary, Obama smashed records for fundraising, largely on the success he achieved in raising money over the Internet.
"We've made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election," Obama said in a video statement emailed to reporters.