By Todd Ruger
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lobbyists and the Supreme Court were targeted in one-line criticisms by President Barack Obama in his speech Thursday night accepting the Democratic nomination for a second term in the White House.
Obama's speech closing out the Democratic National Convention focused on the economy and jobs, taxes and deficits and foreign policy, and never mentioned the Supreme Court directly.
But one of Obama's first lines was a subtle dig on the Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which has been blamed for giving rise to advertisements by Super PACs and flooding the election with corporate donations and funders who can remain hidden.
"The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me – so am I," Obama said, drawing a laugh from the crowd.
Later, Obama delivered this line: "If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election."
And near the end of the speech, Obama connected the influence of money in politics to lobbyists, calling for his party's voters to hit the polls in the Nov. 6 election.
"If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves," Obama said.
That follows an Obama administration has officially not been friendly toward lobbyists, tightening lobbying rules and declining to accept campaign donations from them. Democrats for the first time declined direct contributions from corporations and lobbyists for their convention, and limited contributions from others to no more than $100,000, according to the watchdog group Public Citizen.
Romney's campaign has taken a different approach, with several lobbyists working on the campaign, as well as 25 registered lobbyists raising $3 million in contributions, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of Federal Election Commission reports.