ABC: Led with flooding. Eight minutes in, report on Obama opting out of public campaign financing. Clear verdicts on the move from Gibson – a “direct contradiction” of Obama’s earlier stance – and Stephanopoulos – “a clear flip-flop.” Stephanopoulos said it was a price the campaign is willing to pay, as McCain will have trouble raising money and a top Democrat says there’s “almost no limit to what Barack Obama can raise.”
CBS: Led with mortgage fraud charges, nine minutes in got to Obama’s opt out of public financing with a mostly negative tone. Said he “abandoned” his pledge, calling it a “big reversal” when only months ago he signaled willingness to consider it. Said he was the first major candidate to do so since the 70s. Says it will allow Obama to spend money and compete in all 50 states. Covered McCain’s response, him accepting the federal funds, adding “it’s doubtful he could have drummed up much more” than the system would offer.
NBC: Led with Midwest floods, seven minutes in turned to Obama’s public financing decision with a medium-negative tone. Said opting out created “a firestorm,” recapped history of system, Obama’s pledge, McCain response and public funds decision. Showed Obama trouncing McCain in fundraising so far, mentioned new ad in 18 states, including GOP strongholds.