The Obama campaign’s decision to embrace so-called Super PACs could be a boon for the Democratic ones, both of which are led in part by African-Americans.
Obama’s campaign announced Monday it would support these groups, which can raise unlimited amounts by donors as long as they don’t coordinate with the formal campaign, reversing the president’s previous condemnation of this kind of fundraising. Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, said “we will not play by two sets of rules,” noting that Obama’s team would need to use Super PACs if the Republican nominee were likely to as well.
Several Republicans, including front-runner Mitt Romney, already have Super PACs supporting them and spending large swaths of money. If Obama campaign officials had not made a similar decision, Romney or another Republican candidate could have raised vastly more than the president’s campaign, creating a major disadvantage for Obama.
WATCH PERRY BACON ON MSNBC’S THE DAILY RUNDOWN DISCUSSING SUPER PACS:
Obama officials said they are now formally embracing Priorities USA, a group co-founded by Bill Burton, a former White House deputy press secretary who like the president is the son of a black father and white mother. (Burton was among the 2011 Grio’s 100.)
Priorities USA is expected to raise more than $100 million to fund television ads in key states.
The campaign’s decision could also help American Bridge, a Super PAC run by Rodell Mollineau, who was a top staffer in the Senate until last year.
That group focuses on opposition research, finding negative stories about Republicans that can be then be highlighted by the press.
Neither organization is specifically involved in getting African-Americans to vote, as that is primarily the role of the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Follow Perry Bacon Jr. on Twitter at @perrybaconjr