Entries in Fundraiser (37)


Obama’s Checklist of Choices for Voters

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- At his 99th fundraiser of the year, on the home turf of rival Mitt Romney’s re-election campaign, President Obama Monday night presented a vigorous case for a second term, framing the November vote as a series of personal choices that will have tangible effects on the lives of everyday Americans.

“The only way we’re going to break that gridlock is through you,” Obama said, underscoring an emerging theme in his campaign. “Very rarely do you see such a stark choice in an election with so much as stake. On every challenge we face, you have the final say on where do we go from here.”

On Afghanistan: “You can decide whether we keep our men and women in Afghanistan indefinitely, as Mr. Romney proposes, or we can stick to the timeline that I established that allows us to finally bring our troops home,” Obama said. “That’s my decision.”

On Women’s Health Issues: “You can decide whether we should restrict access to birth control or defund Planned Parenthood. Or we can make a decision that in this country, women control their own health choices,” he said to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. “That’s the decision that I make.”

On Wall Street: “You can decide whether ending taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street Banks was the right thing to do. Whether protecting consumers from unscrupulous practices, like Elizabeth [Warren] fought for, is the right thing to do,” he said.

On Health Insurance: “Whether preventing insurance companies from discriminating against people who are sick is the right thing to do, or allowing over 3 million young people to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan is the right thing to do, or bringing down the cost of prescription drugs for seniors was the right thing to do,” he said.

“I think it was the right thing to do. I know it was the right thing to do. And it’s your choice whether we keep moving forward,” Obama shouted.

On Gay Rights: “You can decide whether we go back to the days when you can be kicked out of the U.S. military because of who you are or who you love. I know where I stand on this,” he said.

On Immigration: “You can decide whether it’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they were brought here as children of undocumented immigrants,” he said. “I know where I stand on this.”

On Campaign Finance: “You can decide whether we can continue to have elections where multimillion-dollar donations, $10 million checks speak louder than voices of ordinary citizens,” Obama said. “This is going to be up to you.”

Obama spoke in Symphony Hall before an energetic crowd of 1,800 donors who paid $250 or more to attend the reception. The three presidential fundraisers in Boston Monday night were expected to raise north of $3.2 million for the Obama Victory Fund.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Tells Supporters to ‘Pay Attention’ to the GOP

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- President Obama concluded a day of fundraising across two states by telling supporters to “pay attention” to what Republican rivals were offering as contrasts to his policies.

“I am telling you, I want you all to pay attention over the next five months and see if they’re offering a single thing that they did not try when they were in charge, because you won’t see it,” he said on Tuesday.

Speaking at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, Obama reminded the crowd of the last Democrat to reside in the White House, Bill Clinton.  It was the last time the federal government maintained a budget surplus.

"By the time I got into office, we had a $1 trillion deficit because of tax cuts that weren’t paid for, two wars that weren’t paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for,” he said.

“We had baked into the cake structural deficits that were made even worse by the financial crisis,” Obama then said of George W. Bush.

The president tried to draw a parallel with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s support of a $5 trillion tax cut, saying he could guess at how it would work.

“Either it’s not paid for, in which case, that’s $5 trillion that’s piled on top of the debt we already have, passed onto the next generation,” Obama began.  “Or it’s going to come from middle-class families.”

About 500 donors crammed under the central rotunda of the Franklin Institute to hear the president.  The building is a learning center named for hometown hero Benjamin Franklin.

Obama invoked the ingenuity of the founding fathers to paint a picture of American innovation, suggesting that in a second term he would sharpen efforts to push infrastructure, high technology and environmental projects.

“That’s how we became an economic superpower,” he said.  “So the notion that we would now shortchange our investments in science and basic research, the possible cures for cancer or Alzheimer’s, or the clean energy that can make sure that we’re doing something about climate change and saving money for families -- that’s not the answer.”

Touting the end of the war in Iraq and progress on gay rights, Obama’s statements to the donors were largely in sync with a script he has been using for months.

The appearance in Philadelphia was split into three separate fundraising events that should pull in north of $1.8 million.  While tickets for the rotunda remarks started at $250 a piece, to attend a dinner reception afterwards 75 supporters would donate at least $10,000.  The bulk of the funds came from a small roundtable discussion of 25 people, paying $40,000 a chair.

Combined with earlier fundraising events in Baltimore, the Obama Victory Fund is expected to raise at least $3.6 million by night’s end, according to the campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


A 'Proud' Obama Makes Appeal to Gay Donors

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(LOS ANGELES) -- President Obama claimed the mantle of champion for the LGBT community Wednesday night, telling a group of 600 gay and lesbian donors at a star-studded fundraiser that he “could not be prouder” of his administration’s work to advance fairness and equality. 

From the effort to lift an HIV/AIDS travel ban, to the passage of a hate crimes law and the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell,” Obama credited his friends and family, staff and military service members as the inspiration behind his advocacy for gay rights in the White House.

“It’s something that I’m personally very proud of,” he said of the accomplishments.

One of those sources of inspiration introduced Obama -- Dr. Vito Imbasciani, a urological surgeon and colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Imabasciani, who is gay, explained that it was his commander-in-chief who allowed him to finally “be himself” after serving for 26 years.

“Until last year, the price of my service was to live a lie,” Imbasciani said.  “But not anymore.”

“Thanks to the unyielding efforts of President Obama I can serve my country openly with my family by my side,” he added, referring to the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.”  Imbasciani said he and his partner have two adopted children of Mexican descent.  

Citing “Vito’s story,” Obama said that his administration’s record of progress for gays and lesbians over the past three years is “just one more step” in a broader movement for greater equality for all Americans."

“It’s part of our history of trying to make this union a little bit more perfect,” the president said.  “In successive ways, the history, the scope of this country has always been to further broaden the meaning of citizenship, to include more and more people.  To give better and better expression to our highest aspirations, to make the country more fair, and more just and more equal.”

While the president did not specifically address his rival Mitt Romney’s record on gay rights, he did suggest the former Republican governor would be much less supportive.

There is a “fundamentally different vision about what’s going on,” Obama said of his opponent’s campaign.  “And a lot of this debate’s going to be about the economy, but also obviously there’s a different vision about how we create an inclusive America."

“I refuse to let anybody re-impose a law that would force Vito back into the shadows when he’s serving on our behalf and our safety and our security,” he continued to resounding applause.  “That’s not something I will tolerate.”

Romney, it should be noted, has not publicly called for re-imposing a ban on gays serving openly in the military.  During a November 2011 primary debate, Romney suggested that he would allow the repeal to stand, saying, “That’s already occurred and I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama, Clinton Hit the Big Apple for Big Bucks

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- President Obama and former President Bill Clinton were in New York City Monday night for three splashy joint fundraisers expected to raise north of $3.6 million for the 2012 campaign, according to figures provided by a Democratic official.

The pair started their visit with a private reception at the Manhattan home of hedge fund manager Marc Lasry, where each of the roughly 50 guests will cut checks for $40,000 to the Obama Victory Fund — the most lucrative event of the night.

Presidents 44 and 42 then headed to the Waldorf Astoria hotel in midtown for a splashy 500-person gala that featured a performance by rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

Tickets for the gala started at $2500 apiece, according to a campaign official. The event was also to include three winners of a campaign grassroots fundraising contest that offered the chance for an all-expenses-paid trip to attend for a contribution of as little as $3.

Obama and Clinton will conclude the evening at the New Amsterdam Theater, which is hosting a “Broadway for Barack” concert.  An estimated 1,700 fans are expected; tickets started at $250 each.

The concert will feature performances by Nina Arianda, Kerry Butler, Norbet Leo Butz, Bobby Cannavale, Stockard Channing, Chuck Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, James Earl Jones, Tony Kushner, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Hattienne Park, Mandy Patinkin, Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Wright, officials said.

The proceeds from all three events benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account that funnels cash to Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

The trip, part of a major fundraising push by the president to kick off June, is Obama’s fourth to the Big Apple this year. He will return next week on June 14 for several more fundraisers, including one at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

With Monday’s events, President Obama has personally attended 151 re-election fundraisers for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee – a record-setting number.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Courts Private Equity Cash at New York Fundraiser

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the same day his campaign launched an attack on Mitt Romney‘s record in private equity, President Obama is attending a big-dollar fundraiser at the Manhattan home of one of the industry’s top figures.

Hamilton “Tony” James — the president of the Blackstone Group, the nation’s largest private equity firm — is hosting a $35,800-a-head dinner for Obama, with 60 Democratic allies expected to attend, according to a campaign official. Many in attendance are expected to have ties to the private equity sector.

James donated $35,800 — the legal maximum to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee — in November 2011, according to Federal Election Commission filings. He was also a guest of the Obamas’ at the most recent White House state dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron, joining more than three dozen of Obama’s campaign bundlers who also attended.

The Obama campaign has been critical of other Blackstone executives — those who have donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign — accusing them of “betting against America” and doing “less-than-reputable” deals that resulted in outsourcing and layoffs. It has not singled out James for criticism, though the company profited from many of those practices under his leadership.

“No one is questioning the private equity industry as a whole,” deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told reporters Monday. “This is about values Romney lived by as a businessman and the values he promises to live by as president,” she said.

Before attending the James event, Obama will headline a fundraiser at the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea with supporters from the LGBT and Latino communities, co-hosted by singer Ricky Martin.

The roughly 200 guests for the event each paid $5,000 to attend, according to a campaign official. All proceeds from both fundraisers benefit the Obama Victory Fund — a joint account of the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and several state Democratic parties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Touts Support for Gay Marriage at Star-Studded Fundraiser

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- President Obama told a star-studded crowd at the Hollywood home of actor George Clooney Thursday night that his decision to support same-sex marriage was a “logical extension of what America is supposed to be.”

The president said his newly-publicized position crystallizes the difference between his vision for the future of the country and that of Republicans.

“It grew directly out of this difference in visions,” Obama explained.  “Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly?  Does that make us strong?  I believe it does.”

The president introduced the issue of same-sex marriage by simply noting “Obviously, yesterday we made some news,” drawing applause from the crowd of roughly 150 guests.

Thursday night’s posh dinner confirmed the Obama campaign’s fundraising prowess.  The president raked in a record-breaking $15 million from the $40,000 a plate dinner, according to host Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation.

In addition to the pricey ticket cost, a large chunk of the donations for the event were gathered through a low-dollar campaign contest that offered supporters the chance to have dinner at Clooney’s house.

The two lucky sweepstakes winners were joined by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who came out in droves for the event.  The guest list ranged from actors Tobey Maguire and Salma Hayek to designers Diane Von Furstenberg and Trina Turk, to songstress Barbra Streisand and comedian Billy Crystal.

And then, of course, there was Clooney, one of the president’s most prominent supporters.

“Let’s face it we raise a lot of money because everybody loves George.  They like me.  They love him,” the president joked.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


George Clooney's Obama Fundraiser Expected to Earn a Record $12M

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s fundraiser tonight at George Clooney’s house is a sold out affair. In fact, The Hollywood Reporter says the fundraiser is expected to garner $12 million for the campaign, making it the single-biggest presidential fundraiser in U.S. history.

Hollywood types including celebrities, studio heads and industry executives each coughed up $40,000 for a chance to dine with the president at Clooney's home in Studio City.  

The $12 million comes from the six million raised to attend dinner at Clooney's, plus an additional six million from an online sweepstakes sponsored by the Obama campaign, where contributors could win two seats at the head table with Clooney.

Before Obama gets to Los Angeles, he will attend two fundraisers in the Seattle area. Combined, those events will bring in an estimated $3 million.

Proceeds from all events go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account of the Obama Campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic Parties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ann Romney’s Birthday Bash at Trump Tower Sells Out

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Now that Mitt Romney has secured wins in Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, he can turn his focus to the next important task on the April calendar: finding his wife, Ann, the perfect birthday gift.

Luckily for former Gov. Romney, he’ll have some help in the party planning department.  In two weeks, the Romneys will be the guests of honor at a huge birthday party and fundraiser thrown by Melania Trump at Trump Tower.  The campaign will bring the Romneys to New York City in time for Ann Romney’s 63rd birthday.

Rumor has it some surprises are in store for Ann Romney at the party, which has gotten incredible response from campaign supporters. The party will double as a fundraiser for the Romney campaign.

“This birthday party and fundraiser will be the highest-grossing and fastest-selling event to date for the Romney campaign,” said executive vice president and special counsel at the Trump Organization, Michael Cohen, predicting a successful event.  "Melania looks forward to spending more time with Ann and hosting this special occasion in two weeks."

Donald Trump’s support for Romney has been ever-present and hyper-local since his endorsement of the former governor in early February.  All told, “the Donald” has recorded more than 30 robocalls for the campaign and participated in more than 50 radio interviews in every state holding primaries over the past two months, according to Cohen.

The campaign has been sure to pay its respects to Trump, giving him special mention at nearly every victory speech on election nights.

“Donald Trump continues to play a crucial role in Gov. Romney’s slew of primary wins and march to 1,144 delegates, which will secure the nomination,” Cohen said.

With the upcoming birthday bash for Ann Romney, all signs point to the relationship growing stronger as the calendar heads towards the general election.

For those who can’t get a ticket to the sold-out party but want one, have no fear.  Cohen said Trump has recorded robocalls in upcoming primary states and will be dialing in very soon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Raise $700K in Super Tuesday Fundraiser

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will raise $716,000 for the 2012 campaign Tuesday afternoon during an exclusive fundraiser at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C.

After a midday news conference aimed at stealing some of the Super Tuesday spotlight, Obama will hobnob privately with 20 benefactors who each cut checks for $35,800, a campaign official told ABC News.  That’s the legal maximum combined contribution to the Obama Campaign and Democratic National Committee.

The closed-press event blocks from the White House is Obama’s seventh at the Jefferson this year, part of a series of roundtable meetings with donors where, aides say, he doesn’t make formal remarks.

Obama has set an aggressive fundraising pace during the first part of the year, raising at least $6 million for the Obama Victory Fund in the first week of March alone.

Tuesday’s fundraiser is Obama’s 34th of the year and 101st since he announced a bid for re-election last April.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Hails Foo Fighters at Los Angeles Fundraiser

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- President Obama kicked off a hiatus from Washington politics and policy making Wednesday night with two star-studded fundraisers at the sprawling Holmby Hills estate of soap opera producer Bradley Bell and his wife Colleen, a bundler for Obama’s re-election campaign.

More than 1,000 guests, each forking over $500 for the Obama Victory Fund, huddled before a concert stage in the Bell’s backyard lined by lit palm and eucalyptus trees.  The Grammy Award-winning Foo Fighters played a set for the crowd before Obama arrived.

“Love the Foo Fighters!” Obama said, drawing applause after taking the stage.  “They were so tired of winning so many awards so they said, ‘Let’s do something else tonight.’”

The group performed hits “Learn to Fly,” “Hero,” “Walk,” and “Everlong,” among others, according to a campaign official at the event.

Actors Jack Black and Rashida Jones -- both high-profile Obama supporters -- were also in attendance and spoke to donors before reporters arrived.  Los Angeles mayor and newly-appointed chairman of the Democratic National Convention Antonio Villaraigosa and Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx were also in the crowd.

“The main message I’ve got for you tonight is it’s not going to be easier this time, it’s going to be harder this time,” Obama told supporters of the escalating campaign.  “I’m going to need you.  You’re going to carry this thing like you did in 2008."

“If you are ready for one more round, if you’re ready for one more fight … if you’re still saying there’s change out there we can believe in,” he said, “I promise you there is nothing that can stop the United States of America.”

Later, Obama spoke to an intimate group of 80 donors, which included actors George Clooney and Jim Belushi, at a dinner inside the luxurious Bell home.  To dine with Obama, supporters cut a check for $35,800 apiece.

“I think people beneath all the pain and hurt they feel still want to believe change is possible,” Obama said.  “Our job over next year is to make sure they can channel that optimism and come together to create the kind of country we want for our kids and grandkids.”

Obama will spend the entire day in California fundraising on Thursday.  He will attend and speak at four events in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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