There’s speech, and there’s free speech, and then there’s really expensive speech—speech only money can buy.
His opponent, Abraham Lincoln, decided to follow him and address the same people with his own message. Neither man spoke only to friendly audiences or forced anyone to listen to them. But the people came and they did listen. Their face-offs became known as the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.
But if money is speech and speech is money, so also, time is money. There's no reason why the voter's time can't be money better spent. Voters make a serious mistake if they put any stock into any 30-second ad promoting any politician or policy, without first investing a little of his own time to learn the facts that might lead to a better understanding of the issues. Voters are also the only ones who can turn the investment in that ad into a serious mistake by the big spender who thought it was a good thing to put his money where his mouth should have been.