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Obama: Consider amending constitution to undo court ruling on political spending

 

TAMPA, Fla. -- President Barack Obama suggested he would support beginning an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to undo a Supreme Court decision that gave way to the rise of so-called "Super PACs."

In a chat on the social media website Reddit, the president told readers that he would back an amendment to counteract the impact of the court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, a 2010 decision that did away with limits on corporate and labor spending in elections.

"Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it)," the president wrote. "Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."

The president said he still supports the Disclose Act, which would force greater transparency from outside spending groups in disclosing their sources of funding. Obama also emphasized his support for banning lobbyists from the practice of "bundling," or raising large sums of contribution from a group of donors.

The 2012 campaign has seen an unprecedented influx of political spending due to the rise of super PACs, which are able to raise and spend unlimited sums on electioneering. Many of those groups also have twin nonprofit arms, which are able to raise and spend millions on "issue advocacy" without having to disclose its funding source.

Both Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, have super PACs spending on their behalf this cycle. Obama reluctantly endorsed his, Priorities USA Action, after having initially opposed the groups;