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ICYMI: President Obama Embraces the Super PAC

- February 7, 2012

In 2010, Obama Called Super PACs And Outside Spending Groups "A Threat To Our Democracy."

(President Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event , Philadelphia, PA, 10/10/10)


“Obama Super PAC Decision: President Blesses Fundraising for Priorities USA Action” 

Excerpts from POLITICO: “President Barack Obama — in an act of hypocrisy or necessity, depending on the beholder — has reversed course and is now blessing the efforts of a sputtering super PAC, Priorities USA Action, organized to fight GOP dark-money attacks…

“Monday morning, Obama reviled the ‘negative’ tone of the super PACs, a dominant fundraising source in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision…by the evening, word leaked…that Obama had offered his support for Priorities USA Action, which thus far has raised a fraction of what GOP-backed groups have raked in…

“Republicans lost no time in blasting Obama’s move Monday night.

“‘Yet again, Barack Obama has proven he will literally do anything to win an election, including changing positions on the type of campaign spending he called nothing short of a ‘threat to our democracy,’ said Joe Pounder, the Republican National Committee’s research director. ‘In less than 24 hours, Obama has gone from decrying super PACs in the morning to opening up the door to their money during a conference call with his big money donors in the middle of the night.’

“Obama had voiced dismay about the presence of super PACs and negative campaigning in an interview that aired Monday morning.

“‘Would I love to take some of the big money out of politics? I would,’ the president told NBC’s Matt Lauer. ‘Unfortunately, right now partly because of Supreme Court rulings and a bunch of decisions out there, it is very hard to get your message out without having some resources’…

“In April 2011, two former White House aides formed Priorities USA Action, which — along with an affiliated nonprofit group — hopes to raise $100 million to support Obama. But so far, its funding has been dwarfed by that of Republican groups…

“Obama will have to reconcile his campaign’s move on Monday night with his previous opposition to the super PACs, especially his memorable 2010 State of the Union speech in which he denounced Citizens United and called out members of the Roberts Court to their faces for overturning the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law…”

Read the Full Article Here:


“Obama Yields in Marshaling of ‘Super PAC’" 

Excerpts from The New York Times: “President Obama is signaling to wealthy Democratic donors that he wants them to start contributing to an outside group supporting his re-election, reversing a long-held position as he confronts a deep financial disadvantage on a vital front in the campaign.

“Aides said the president had signed off on a plan to dispatch cabinet officials, senior advisers at the White House and top campaign staff members to deliver speeches on behalf of Mr. Obama at fund-raising events for Priorities USA Action, the leading Democratic ‘super PAC,’ whose fund-raising has been dwarfed by Republican groups…

“The Republican National Committee sharply criticized the decision. A spokesman, Joe Pounder, declared: ‘Yet again, Barack Obama has proven he will literally do anything to win an election, including changing positions on the type of campaign spending he called nothing short of 'a threat to our democracy’…

“Mr. Obama said in 2008 that he did not want support from outside groups and took a strong stand against the influence of special-interest money in politics, effectively shutting down independent activity on his behalf…

“His past criticism of outside groups, some Democrats said, had made it hard to persuade donors to back Priorities USA Action, contributing to its problems in keeping up with conservative groups.

“‘It’s hard to pass the plate for super PAC money while Democratic leaders have been preaching about the sins of it,’ said Robert Zimmerman, a New York fund-raiser for Mr. Obama…

“But the major Democratic groups, including Priorities USA Action, raised only $19 million for the year. Those lopsided figures led Mr. Messina to send his top network of donors an e-mail last week urging them to raise more money...

“The decision comes four years after Mr. Obama became the first presidential candidate since the Watergate era to turn down public financing and the accompanying spending limits, allowing him to raise $750 million for his 2008 campaign…

“Mr. Obama has consistently spoken out against the new rules that allow unlimited contributions from corporations and wealthy donors. ‘But for 2012,’ Mr. Messina said, ‘our campaign has to face the reality of the law as it currently stands.’”

Read the Full Article Here:


“Dems: We Won’t Unilaterally Disarm Super PACs’”

Excerpts from CBS News: “Monday night for the first time, President Obama's campaign began asking major contributors to give money to a super PAC that supports his re-election…

“This marks a dramatic change in policy for the president, but unsurprising, given the fact that super PAC-supporting Republicans have raised more than $50 million already….

“It's not also the first time that the president has reversed himself on fundraising. In 2008, he said that he would take public funding, but then he changed his mind. This time the reversal comes after his denunciation of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision which allowed unlimited fundraising.

“At his State of the Union address in 2010 Mr. Obama had this to say: ‘I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests or, worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems’…”

Read the Full Article Here:



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