Former Florida Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush says he would like to see the Supreme Court overturn the famous Citizens United v. FEC case, protecting the First Amendment right of nonprofits to dedicate expenditures towards independent political endeavors.
Citizens United disagrees with Bush’s assessment, saying that he has embraced the “left’s view of the First Amendment.”
After delivering remarks to the Rotary Club of Nashua in Nashua, New Hampshire on Monday, the first question Bush received was from a man who asked him about the “disturbing nature of money in politics.”
“The ideal situation would be to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that allows for in effect the unregulated money independent and regulated money for the campaign. I would turn that on its head if I could,” Bush responded.
Citizens United President David N. Bossie disagrees, telling Breitbart News that Jeb Bush has exposed his “true colors.”
“Jeb Bush’s true colors just resurfaced. He has embraced the left’s view of the First Amendment. Jeb Bush now agrees with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to limit free speech in America,” Bossie said.
“George W. Bush signed the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold legislation into law in the first place, so it’s no surprise Jeb Bush has the same severely flawed view of the Constitution that his brother did,” he added. “Jeb Bush is a hypocrite. His Super PAC has raised over one hundred million dollars, but it hasn’t helped him one bit.”
The Citizens United case was praised almost unanimously by grassroots conservative and pro-free speech organizations. The Citizens United ruling overturned portions of McConnell v. FEC, which had implemented massive restrictions on free speech during political campaigns.
“I think campaigns ought to be personally accountable and responsible for the money they receive,” Bush added. “I don’t think we need to restrict it. Voters will have the ability to say, ‘I’m not voting for you ‘cuz, ya know [inaudible] gave you money.’
“But the key is just to have total transparency about the amounts of money and who gives it,” Bush said. “And have it with 48-hour turnaround. That would be the appropriate thing. Then a candidate will be held accountable for whatever comes to the voters through the campaign. Unforutnately, the Supreme Court ruling makes that at least temporarily impossible.”
“It’s going to require an amendment to the Constitution,” he suggested. “There is a growing sense that we need to amend the Constitution though … overturning the Supreme Court decision and creating greater transparency for how you raise money and how you spend it.”
Bush also told CNN’s Dana Bash, reiterating his support for overturning the Citizens United case:
““If I could do it all again I’d eliminate the Supreme Court ruling. “This is a ridiculous system we have now where you have campaigns that struggle to raise money directly and they can’t be held accountable for the spending of the super PAC that’s their affiliate.”
Bossie told Breitbart News:
Jeb Bush’s problem isn’t Citizens United. It’s Jeb Bush. His weak finish in Iowa and last stand tomorrow in New Hampshire make his opinion less and less a factor with every passing hour. Jeb Bush could use a lesson on the Constitution from Ted Cruz.