What Obama said then and now on super PACs

The Associated Press

As President Barack Obama enthusiastically raises money for Democratic super PACs, he’s embracing some of the same secretive elements of unlimited funding system that he long has railed against.

What Obama and the White House said before and after he decided to start raising money for super PACs:


“I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington, or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.” — Obama, January 2010, in his weekly radio and Internet address, after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling paved the way for unlimited political contributions.


“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections. … I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.” — Obama, January 2010, in State of the Union address.


“He’s not saying that the system is healthy or good. He is making the decision, his campaign is making the decision, that the rules are what they are. And they cannot play by a different set of rules than Republicans are playing.” — White House spokesman Jay Carney, February 2012, after his campaign announced that Obama officials would start attending super PAC fundraisers.


“The president has long advocated for campaign finance reform and expressed his opposition to the Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for special interests. … He has tried to do a lot on this, some unilaterally, but when Republicans block measures in Congress, he doesn’t feel like we’re going to allow the midterms to happen on an uneven playing field.” — White House spokesman Eric Schultz, July 2014.

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