Obama needles GOP for allowing 'corporate takeover' of U.S. campaigns

President Obama lamented the "corporate takeover of America" he said had been fostered by a Supreme Court decision earlier this year.

The president, during fundraisers Thursday night in Connecticut, slammed the millions of dollars in special-interest spending that's flowed into the 2010 election cycle.

"Right now, all across the country, special interests are planning and running millions of dollars of attack ads against Democratic candidates," Obama said at a fundraiser for Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal (D), blaming the court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. "They’re allowed to spend as much as they want without ever revealing who’s paying for the ads. That’s exactly what they’re doing."

Obama in particular named two right-leaning groups that have spent against the president and his candidates this cycle: Americans for Prosperity and the Committee for Truth in Politics.

"We tried to fix this, but the leaders of the other party wouldn’t even allow it to come up for a vote," Obama said. "We are not about to allow a corporate takeover of our democracy."

Democrats said that strong rhetoric on campaign finance and other issues were part of the "closing argument" the president is planning to make in the next two months, before November's crucial midterm elections.

Those elections will be affected in no small part by the flood of corporate and labor spending freed up by the court decision earlier this year. The House had passed a bipartisan campaign finance reform bill, the Disclose Act, to counteract the effects of the Citizens United ruling. But the bill stalled in the Senate, where Republicans dismissed it as simply a bid by Democrats to handicap the GOP this fall.

On campaign finance and other issues, Obama will, in the next few weeks, "demonstrate what's at stake in this election and draw a sharp contrast" between Democrats and Republicans, said Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse.

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