I asked John McCain's campaign general counsel, Trevor Potter, whether he agreed with an Obama campaign aide who told me that "our campaign counsels met and it was immediately clear that McCain's campaign had no interest in the possibility of an agreement" for the general election.

"This is not true!," Potter writes in an e-mail. "I met with [Obama counsel] Bob Bauer on a different subject (a joint panel we had yesterday in Rhode Island sponsored by the National Assoc. of Attys General) about 10 days ago. During that meeting, he asked what Sen. McCain’s position was on public general election funding, and I said we were for it, and hoped Sen. Obama would participate as well. There was absolutely NO discussion of “negotiations” about participating—the word was never mentioned."

"What was odd is that Bob Bauer then made the argument to me that neither candidate needed public funding—that Sen. McCain could raise as much for the general election as Sen. Obama “within $5 or 10 million”. I responded that Sen. McCain believed in the general election public funding system, and thought it was good for the country."

"So—no discussion of “negotiations” and no rejection of negotiations—only a clear statement by me that Sen. McCain hoped both candidates would participate in the system. If they wanted to “negotiate,” they NEVER mentioned it to me."

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