Reporting from Florence, S.C. — After arguing in Monday night’s GOP debate that he would like to see super PACs “disappear,” Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney defended the fact that he has raised money for the independent committee supporting his campaign – stating that he was simply operating within the bounds of current law and doing what was necessary to compete in the presidential race.
“It’s not that I don’t support super PACs,” Romney told reporters Tuesday when asked how he squared appearing at fundraisers for the committee, Restore Our Future, with his distaste for the outsized role that the groups have played in the 2012 cycle. “We raise money for super PACs. We encourage super PACs. Each candidate has done that.”
“Like the others,” he said, “I also encouraged the creation of a super PAC, and following the guidelines laid out by the Supreme Court, encouraged people to make contributions to the super PAC.” But he noted that his campaign had carefully followed the law by halting all communications with the leaders of the super PAC within the required time period.
As in Monday night’s debate in Myrtle Beach, Romney emphasized that he wished campaign finance laws were different and that candidates could just raise money for their own campaigns –- without the complicating factor of outside groups raising unlimited sums of money –- but said he was operating within the system and noted that super PACs supporting President Obama had begun attacking him even though the Republican nominating contest is ongoing.