In the End, President Obama’s Super PAC Position Just Confirms What Is Still Wrong With Washington

Feb 7, 2012
8:38 am

In 2010, President Obama was of the most vehement opponents of the Citizens United ruling, a Supreme Court decision that would allow corporations and individuals to give unlimited money to political action committees. He still is, but his current campaign talk has changed its tune.

For a little video contezt, this is what President Obama said (source, official White House page) about a Senate campaign reform bill in light of the Citizens United ruling:

A vote to oppose these reforms is nothing less than a vote to allow corporate and special interest takeovers of our elections. It is damaging to our democracy. It is precisely what led a Republican President named Theodore Roosevelt to tackle this issue a century ago.


On Super Bowl Sunday, as he enters the 2012 election cycle, the President seems to have changed his mind, citing the fact that Super PACS are the rules of the this year's election, and if the Republicans are doing it, he will have to as well. He is what he said: “One of the worries we have obviously in the next campaign is that there are so many of these so-called super PACs, these independent expenditures that are gonna be out there. There is gonna be just a lot of money floating around, and I guarantee a bunch of that is gonna be negative. But it's not going to be enough just to say 'the other guy's a bum,' you've got to explain to the American people what your plan is to make sure that there are good jobs and good wages and that this economy is growing over the long term. And whoever wins that argument I think is going to be the next president. "

The President added:

"Would I love to take some of the big money out of politics? I would. 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.”

Politico reported the following about how the Obama campaign is now playing the Super PAC game:

Obama has denounced the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on political advertisements supporting and opposing candidates.

Two former White House aides have formed a super PAC, 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 Republican groups’. In all of 2011, the Priorities groups reported raising $6.7 million while a single donor, casino owner Sheldon Adelson, has poured $10 million into a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich.


Obama’s campaign has vowed that neither Obama nor his aides will raise money for super PACs, but the president’s senior campaign staff is now allowing top fundraisers to request that wealthy contributors donate to Priorities USA Action.