The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Obama: Wealthy special interests contribute to budget impasse

President Obama on Tuesday blamed the growing influence of wealthy interests on the political system for contributing to the impasse in Washington, saying that many Republican lawmakers want to compromise but fear they will be targeted by deep-pocketed outside groups.

During his afternoon press conference at the White House, the president reiterated his criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2010 Citizens United case, which lifted the ban on corporations engaging directly in elections, and said a new case before the court could further crowd out the average citizen.

“I've continued to believe that Citizens United contributed to some of the problems we're having in Washington right now,” Obama said. “You know, you have some ideological extremist who has a big bankroll, and they can entirely skew our politics.