President Obama said Wednesday that if everybody voted, the influence of money in political campaigns would have less of an influence on the polls.
The BLAZE reports Obama was responding to a question from an audience member at a town hall meeting in Cleveland. The audience member inquired about overturning the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which ruled limits on political campaign spending violated freedom of speech.
Obama responded while overturning the ruling would be “fun,” it is a complicated process. The best way to negate the influence of money in political campaigns is for the entire nation to turn out at the polls.
“Here’s the problem. Citizens United was a Supreme Court ruling based on the First Amendment,” Obama said. “So it can’t be overturned by statute. It could be overturned by a new court or it could be overturned by a constitutional amendment. Those are extraordinarily challenging processes.”
He continued, “In Australia and some other countries, there is mandatory voting. It would be transformative if everybody voted. That would counteract money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country, because the people who tend not to vote are young. They are lower income. They are skewed more heavily toward immigrant groups and minority groups...There is a reason some people try to keep them away from the polls.”
Obama admitted he has raised a lot of money himself but “the almost unlimited amounts of money spent, I think it’s bad for our democracy.”
Publication date: March 19, 2015