President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has made a major about-face, announcing that it will reportedly begin using administration and campaign aides to raise funds for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that supports the president, CNN reports.
Obama has been an outspoken critic of current campaign financing laws, in particular a Supreme Court ruling that allowed the creation of super PACs. Until now he has kept his distance from Priorities USA Action.
But in the wake of the group's anemic fundraising, made public last week, the campaign decided to change its position, and announced the new stance to members of its national finance committee Monday evening.
Two Obama campaign aides confirmed that senior campaign and administration officials who participate at fundraising events for the president's campaign will also appear at events for Priorities USA Action, the PAC supporting Obama.
"This decision was not made overnight,” one campaign official said. “The money raised and spent by Republican super PACs is very telling. We will not unilaterally disarm."
The president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will not appear at super PAC events, the aides said.
In an e-mail to supporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said the decision was a reaction to massive fundraising posted by super PACs supporting GOP presidential candidates.
Indeed, the decision strikes us as a smart and strategic move on the part of the Obama campaign, considering the heft of the super PACs backing Mitt Romney, the apparent GOP front-runner, and a $500 million pledge by the Koch brothers to back the president's Republican challenger. It's a no-brainer.