January 21st, 2010
01:52 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama criticizes campaign finance ruling

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama slammed the Supreme Court's ruling loosening restrictions on corporate spending in federal elections Thursday, saying it "gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington - while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates."

Obama issued a statement saying he is telling his administration "to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this
decision. The public interest requires nothing less."

His statement came hours after the 5-4 high court ruling.

"The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," Obama said. "It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."


Filed under: President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Ben in Texas

    This ruling will open the floodgates of hate and libel as corporations fill the media with unrestrained lies to defeat any candidate who is not on their secret payroll. The Extreme Court has just nailed down the coffin of democracy. No candidate will have a prayer of being elected without first pledging allegiance to the giant multinationals.

    And many of those corporations are run by foreigners, making our political system subject to the preferences of the super-rich of the world. How will you like having the Saudi royal family deciding who gets elected your next senator or representative or president?

    January 21, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Roger

    Obama is now slamming the Supreme Court's decision on Corporate spending in federal elections and yet he has been the recipient of most of it. Keep slamming Corporate America, Obama, and you will soon put the last nail in the American economy. Perhaps it is naive to think that those running for office should just refuse sepecial interest donations. As long as Obama keeps funding ACORN it is no wonder that these special interest donations survive. I am sure Obama can finally get one piece of legislation in a bi-partisan manner as finance in far too many instances are the deciding factor in an election. Considering that Obama has now had five setbacks in his first year in office - Copenhagan fiasco, the Olympic site, and the elections in Virginia, New Jersey and now Massachusetts. To rid the election process of campaign abuses is a laudable endeavor and I am sure there will be bi-partisan support for such legislation BUT do it on the merits of the legislation and not the political huhu of your continuous abusing Corporate America. Stop campaigning and start leading and if not just resign and get out of the way.

    January 21, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Dan Holiday

    I guess Obambi is scared now that the playing field will be a little more leveled. By no allowing corps. the ability to donate the liberals have been able to outshine conservatives with the shady Soros 527 backed organizations. Also, Union members were forced to contribute which in a sense muted the plan that prevented unions from donating to campaigns. Basically this makes things more fair for the GOP. I say good to that.

    January 21, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. annie s

    Let's face it. America is already run by big business, and as long as Americans are as ignorant as they are (for example, like the folks in Massachusetts not noticing which political party actually works for them and NOT the corporate masters) it's never going to change. This just makes it worse.

    January 21, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Black Viper

    What is the point of voting now? Why don't they just put all CEO's of America in a room to vote for who will be the next senator, representative or president in upcoming elections?
    GOD SAVE US ALL. You haven't seen anything yet wait until republican's take full control of the house and senate. We are doomed.
    You have communism but vote for corporate communism. Brilliant.

    January 21, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Tom

    I get this recurring nightmare. I'm in a courtroom and the judge tells me I'm in contempt of court. I tell him I have the utmost respect for the law, but it's the presiders I am in contempt of...... What's next. This is just another example of our falling into total ruin.

    It's time for term limits and totally open politics. It's time for lobbyists to and their companies to be put out of business. It's time for some of them to go to jail..

    My dad once worked with a person who was in Hitler's SS durng WWII. During a conversation, he asked what Hitler would have done to cure the drug problem in the 60's. The guy said, "he would have put up signs all over the country that anyone caught with drugs after a certain date would be shot." He then said: "we might have had to shoot a couple, but after the word got around, no problem."

    Hmmm....

    January 21, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Tate

    Sounds like Owhiner is a little scared all these companies he is attacking can now fight back. Typical democant it is ok when it is them doing it but as soon as they get there head kicked in like Scott Brown did now they want to all get along. I hope they just run ads showing how stupid this child is running the white house.

    January 21, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. fred davis exiled AZ

    This pundit says the court ruling only legalised what was covertly being done. Since corporations became persons in a late 19th century court ruling,the concept of individuals voting power was dead.Now the corporations influence the supreme court as well as congress.For people to talk of democracy here is a joke. To say we are in the middle east to promote freedom and democracy is a huge deception. We the people are lied to everyday through the mass media. we rarely get to hear from other highly qualified people because their views and information show true scholarship and greater in depth reporting .

    January 21, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Me in KY

    Hey BHO you mention big oil, Wall street, insurance. What about your favorites, unions ? Are they going to get a pass just like healthcare? You only support the machines that support you and the rest are the devil. Come on 2012.

    January 21, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Willy Brown

    Careful Barry.

    January 21, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. File under "Sarcasm"

    Getting "to work immediately with Congress on this issue" is putting another liberal political issue in front of the real issue, the economy. How many times do people have to shout, "IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!" before President Obama gets the message.

    And who is he to complain about giving "special interests and their lobbyists ... power in Washington" when his Democrats in Congress have them writing their legislation for healthcare and cap and trade and when he brokers deals with unions to exempt them from taxes on cadillac health plans at the expense of "average Americans".

    What a hypocrite!

    January 21, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Future expat

    When Republicans celebrate the fact that they'll benefit from increased corporate money, it kinda undermines their populist rhetoric. The entire history of the GOP since Nixon does so as well.

    January 21, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Bedtime for Obonzo

    God forbid that "big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests" should be permitted to respond to the Beloved Leaders verbal attacks over the past few months.

    "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...." Period, Barry. Not difficult at all to understand.

    January 21, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Bobert

    "It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

    You mean like Unions Mr. Pres? You know those people who you cut a deal with in your Health Care bill?

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

    January 21, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. Patty in California

    Just one more payoff from the conservative stacking of the Court...pretty sure this is NOT what the founders had in mind. Good work !!

    January 21, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. TexasJack

    He must not be getting a kickback on this one. Maybe the NCAAP are keeping him well supplied in money.

    January 21, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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