Clinton Speaks Out Against Citizens United Decision

Olivia Zink on July 31, 2015
The Citizens United decision empowered billionaires and corporations to spend unlimited cash in a way that corrupts the political system, Hillary Clinton said. She also called for moving toward public funding of elections.

When Hillary Clinton took her turn at WMUR's "Conversations with the Candidates," Gale asked, "Secretary Clinton, how do you feel about the Citizens United decision and would you support an amendment to overturn it?"

Clinton's response:

"Yes, I would. I would if it came to that, I would support a constitutional amendment. I think the Supreme Court made an egregious error in the Citizens United case. Because I think they decided it in kind of an idealized, rarefied world, where they said 'look it’s a free speech issue, so you put your money behind a candidate or an advertisement, that's free speech.'  But in effect, in the real world, we know it empowers billionaires and corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on causes and candidates. I think that disrupts and corrupts our political system. So number one, I would appoint Supreme Court justices who understood that it's more important to protect a person’s right to vote than a corporation's right to influence the election. And secondly, how do we move towards more public financing in our system.  And thirdly, how do we get rid of Citizens United, which we have to put at the top of our political agenda.

(Click here for the link to WMUR's webpage.  Gale's question starts at minute 4:16.)

Olivia followed up after the program was taped.  She said, "Giant corporations have seen unlimited funds to buy inside access to Congress. What steps will you take to prevent crony capitalism from corrupting our government and economy?"

Clinton answered, "Well, one thing we have to do is change the law on unlimited, unaccountable contributions, because that is why they get all that access because they know that corporations and billionaires will give money in favor of them or against them.  That has to be our highest priority and then you can limit the amount of money through other means.  But if we don’t get rid of Citizens United we will never deal with that."

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