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Mitt Romney embraced campaign finance reform on Tuesday. But rather than targeting unlimited corporate contributions or lending his support to existing campaign finance legislation, Romney instead suggested limiting teachers unions' donations to politicians.
"I don’t know that I would prevent teachers from being able to strike,” Romney said, acknowledging that "allowing to teachers to strike on matters such as compensation" is within their rights.
Instead, Romney said the focus should be on removing the teachers unions' money from the political equation.
“We simply can’t have a setup where the teachers unions can contribute tens of millions of dollars to the campaigns of politicians and then those politicians, when elected, stand across from them at the bargaining table, supposedly to represent the interests of the kids," Romney said. "I think it’s a mistake. I think we’ve got to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns. It’s the wrong way for us to go. We’ve got to separate that.”
Romney also noted that the unions tend to be particularly friendly to Democratic candidates.
The former governor's comments fall in line with arguments made against the Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United decision, in which the court ruled that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts on campaigns under the First Amendment. Romney has previously declined to criticize the ruling, telling the Portsmouth Herald's editorial board that he believed "their decision was a correct decision."