Mitt Romney: Super-PACs Are a "Disaster"

| Tue Dec. 20, 2011 12:29 PM EST

Mitt Romney is biting the hand that feeds him. On MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday, Romney railed against so-called super-PACs, the relatively new breed of political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in elections. He called super-PACs a "disaster" and said, "We really ought to let campaigns raise the money they need and just get rid of these super-PACs."

That's quite a statement from a candidate who's benefited greatly from the rise of super-PACs. Restore Our Future, a super-PAC aligned with the Romney campaign and run by Romney 2008 aides, announced earlier this month plans to spend $3.1 million on TV time in Iowa to boost Romney's standing there. The blitz appears to be helping: recent polls show Romney's popularity inching upward. Restore Our Future, meanwhile, has plenty more gas in the tank; having raised $12.2 million as of June 30, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Romney's hardly the one to benefit from super-PACs backing a specific candidate. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Newt Gingrich, and even former US Sen. Rick Santorum have super-PACs fundraising and spending on their behalf.

Fred Wertheimer, a veteran campaign finance reform advocate at Democracy 21, says super-PACs "are a dangerous fraud on the American people…designed to launder into a candidate's campaign the very kind of unlimited contributions that the campaign finance laws have long prohibited candidates from receiving because they are corrupting."

Here's the video of Romney denouncing super-PACs: