Obama Reverses Course, Backs Super PACs

CAMPAIGN TRAIL, NEWSROOM AMERICA

In a reversal of position, President Obama’s reelection campaign will begin sending administration and fundraising aides to raise funds for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC (political action committee) that backs the president.

The president’s critics said his decision is the epitome of hypocrisy, given his long and vocal opposition to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed the creation of super PACs.

But the campaign decided to reverse course because of the PAC’s poor fundraising, a decision that was announced to its national finance committee Monday evening.

CNN reported that two campaign aides confirmed that senior campaign and administration officials who appear at Obama fundraising events will also appear at events sponsored by Priorities USA Action.

“This decision was not made overnight,” one campaign official told CNN. “The money raised and spent by Republican super PACs is very telling. We will not unilaterally disarm.”

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, in an email to supporters, said the decision was in response to massive fundraising by a number of super PACs supporting Republican presidential contenders.

“The campaign has decided to do what we can, consistent with the law, to support Priorities USA in its effort to counter the weight of the GOP Super PACs,” he wrote, pledging to do so with full disclosure, “as required by law to the Federal Election Commission.”

Messina mentioned Obama’s opposition to the high court’s Citizens United ruling, saying “he understood that with the dramatic growth in opportunities to raise and spend unlimited special-interest money, we would see new strategies to hide it from public view.”

Nevertheless, Messina wrote, while Obama “continues to support a law to force full disclosure of all funding intended to influence our elections,” he will still seek to support Priorities USA Action.

Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for the conservative groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, called Obama’s reversal “brazenly cynical in an email blast, CNN reported.

In it, he included a quote from an October 2010 rally in Philadelphia, where the New York Times quoted the president as saying, “You don’t know, it could be the oil industry, it could be the insurance industry, it could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose. Now that’s not just a threat to Democrats, that’s a threat to our democracy.”

© 2012 Newsroom America.


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