WASHINGTON (AP) -- Critics say President Barack Obama is abandoning his appeals to limit the role of money in politics.
Obama's campaign is now encouraging donors to give generously to the kind of political fundraising groups he once described as a "threat to democracy." The campaign is urging supporters to give to a "super PAC" led by two former Obama aides. It has struggled to compete with tens of millions of dollars collected by similar groups with Republican backing.
Republicans say it's a hypocritical move. House Speaker John Boehner calls it "just another broken promise."
Former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, a longtime backer of campaign finance limits, says Democrats shouldn't "play by Republican rules." He says when they do, people no longer see Democrats as an alternative to "rich individual and corporate interests."
But Obama campaign manager Jim Messina says it wouldn't be fair or smart for the president's re-election effort to live under one set of rules while the Republican nominee uses another.
Aides say Obama has signed off on the decision.
The "super-PACs" are a result of a Supreme Court decision that stripped away some limits on campaign contributions. Obama has spoken against that ruling.