Obama Changes Mind on Super PACs

by InvestorPlace Staff | February 7, 2012 7:21 pm

[1]If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That seems to be the philosophy behind President Barack Obama’s decision to give his blessing to a pro-Obama Super PAC[2], even as he has previously decried the fundraising groups.

When the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision was made by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010, giving rise to political action committees that could raise unlimited funds on behalf of candidates as long as they did not directly coordinate with them, Obama was a huge critic. At the time, the president said the decision was a “threat to our democracy.”

Now, though, with Gingrich’s Super PAC pulling in $12 million and Romney’s Super PAC nabbing $30 million in donations, Obama has apparently decided he can’t compete in the general election without Super PAC money of his own. Obama campaign members and White House officials will appear at events sponsored by the Obama-aligned Super PAC, Priorities USA. These officials will not request money for the Super PAC, nor will Obama or First Lady Michelle Obama appear at any Super PAC event.

Obama has been known for heated rhetoric on campaign finance issues that hasn’t matched his own behavior. In 2008, he declined to accept public campaign funds. This allowed him to raise an unlimited amount of money for that election, which was a factor in his winning the presidency.

For more information, and for the full text of a letter written by Obama campaign manager Jim Messina about the decision to accept Super PAC support, check out this Yahoo! News story[3].

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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  2. give his blessing to a pro-Obama Super PAC: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/senior-campaign-officials-defend-obama-embrace-super-pac-170915760.html
  3. Yahoo! News story: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/senior-campaign-officials-defend-obama-embrace-super-pac-170915760.html

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