Washington, Dec.5 (ANI): A close ally of Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain has charged US President-elect Barack Obama with having followed his predecessor Richard Nixon's 1972 path to victory - drowning his opponent with cash.
"If the roles were reversed and it was the Republican Party nominee who had decided to walk away from the system and spend hundreds of millions of dollars more than the Democratic nominee - having a very direct effect on the election - I do not think it would have been taken with as much equanimity by the press and the powers that be as has been the case this year," said Trevor Potter, a McCain confidant who served as the top lawyer to the Republican presidential candidate's campaign.
"It was, after all, Richard Nixon doing exactly that - raising an untold amount of money and blowing George McGovern out of the water - that created the public funding system in the first place," Politico quoted Potter as saying during a panel discussion of the 2008 presidential campaign.
But Obama's campaign lawyer Bob Bauer, also on the panel, balked at the Nixon comparison, calling Potter's analysis "a vast vineyard" of sour grapes.
Obama's final fundraising report, due by midnight Thursday, is expected to show that he raised a record-shattering 750 million dollars or more for his campaign, compared with the 322 million dollars to which McCain's campaign had access.
Bauer and Potter - titans of the campaign finance bar - shared the stage at a Thursday panel discussion called "Reflections on the two presidential campaigns," hosted by the University of California Washington Center.
The two revisited a summer meeting that became the subject of a heated campaign trail debate about whether Obama's camp had negotiated in good faith to reach an agreement with McCain under which the two would both participate in the public financing system.
Only McCain eventually did, a move that limited his general election spending to the 84 million dollar public grant allocated by the Watergate-era system intended to reduce the role of fundraising in presidential politics.
Potter said Obama's decision to turn down public financing was "a very sensible thing to do" and made "for very good campaign tactics." (ANI)