Now Obama Gives Blessing to Democratic Super PAC

President switches position so as not to give GOP the advantage

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 7, 2012 7:38 AM CST

(Newser) – President Obama has made no secret of his distaste for super PACs, but now he's signaling that his wealthy supporters should feel free to donate to one on his behalf. In a message to supporters yesterday, campaign manager Jim Messina said Obama is now embracing the efforts of Priorities USA Action, a pro-Democrat super PAC formed by two former White House aides, because it's time to "face the reality of the law as it stands"—or hand Republicans a huge financial advantage.

Two major Republican super PACs raised $51 million last year between them, while groups supporting individual GOP presidential candidates raised around $40 million. Meanwhile, Priorities USA Action and other big Democratic groups raised just $19 million, the New York Times reports. A spokesperson for one Republican super PAC called Obama's shift a "brazenly cynical move," considering the president once called "outside groups a threat to democracy"—and it certainly is a political risk, the Washington Post notes. As part of the decision, Obama himself will not attend Priorities USA Action events, but senior campaign staffers, White House advisers, and Cabinet officials will. (Click to watch Buzzfeed's "greatest hits" of Obama's attacks on Citizens United.)

President Barack Obama makes remarks on the economy at Fire Station #5 February 3, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia.
President Barack Obama makes remarks on the economy at Fire Station #5 February 3, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia.   (Getty Images)
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It’s hard to pass the plate for super PAC money while Democratic leaders have been preaching about the sins of it. But the reality is, it is essential in 2012. - Robert Zimmerman, a New York fund-raiser for President Obama

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