President Obama suggested to a wealthy group of campaign donors that they make $10 million contributions to his official super PAC, despite his regular complaints that such entities exist.
“The bad news is that these folks have super PACs that are writing $10 million checks and have the capacity to just bury us under the kind of advertising that we’ve never seen before,” Obama said told about 200 people at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. (“Tickets for the event start at $12,500 per family,” per the pool report.)
“We don’t need to match these folks dollar for dollar,” Obama continued. “We can’t. I mean, if somebody here has a $10 million check — (laughter) — I can’t solicit it from you, but feel free to use it wisely. But that’s not our game. Our game is grassroots.”
The law firm Bell, McAndrews, and Hiltachk (BMH) explains that “Federal candidates/officeholders may solicit up to $5,000 from individuals (and other sources not prohibited by the Act from making a contribution to a political committee) on behalf of a Super PAC.”
During his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama denounced the Supreme Court justices for the ruling that made super PACs possible, as they sat listening to his speech.
“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,” Obama said during the State of the Union. “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people.”
Justice Samuel Alito attracted attention when a camera caught him mouthing the words “not true” as Obama characterized the court’s ruling.
BHM Law notes that super PACs “may not, however, solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals.”
Obama’s team, back when it opposed super PACs, responded to the court’s ruling by saying that “Neither the President nor his campaign staff or aides will fundraise for super PACs.” When the Obama campaign decided to embrace a super PAC, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that “the President, Vice President, First Lady, Dr. Biden will not appear at any of these events associated with these organizations.”