THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD WITH PRESS
The North Portico
10:15 A.M. EDT
Q Mr. President, those Senate Republicans, sir, who are now blocking campaign finance reform, even though they voted for it before -- what do you say to them? I mean, this thing could go down today and be dead.
THE PRESIDENT: The real question is what can they say to the American people. What possible reasons can they give other than pure politics for filibustering a bill which they voted for last year? And as I said, this isn't the first time it's happened. It happened on motor voter, but we were able to work that out.
But these are good people and I think they must be searching their hearts about it and about wondering if they can even begin to defend it on anything other than raw politics. And I'm hoping that there will be some change and some breakthrough. I got some information this morning that it's at least somewhat encouraging and we'll just keep working on it and hope we can prevail.
Q Would you agree to give any up public funding? Would that be one way?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the only problem with that is, if you give it all, up you have no control on the amount of money being spent. And the argument for the public funding is simply that the Supreme Court has -- that unless you give candidates something you can't condition how much they spend. So if the object is to control the cost of campaigns as well as to limit the influence of PACs, and to open the airwaves, it is difficult to meet all those objectives if you don't have some public funding -- they're talking about the various compromises. I don't know whether they can reach one, but I think -- that's why I hope that Republicans who voted for the bill last year will think about it.
It is essential to limit the overall costs of campaigns and somehow there's got to be a public funding element to it. Thank you.
END 10:18 A.M. EDT