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Entries in Fundraiser (37)

Tuesday
Jun212011

Obama Reassures Jewish Donors US Bond with Israel 'Isn’t Breakable'

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Speaking to Jewish donors Monday night, President Obama promised that his administration will employ “all of its creative powers to try to bring about peace” in the Middle East.

"The most important message I have for all of you here tonight is that even as we try to manage what is going to be a very difficult and challenging situation over the next 12 months, the next 24 months, the next decade, that one inviolable principle will be that the United States and Israel will always be stalwart allies and friends.  That bond isn’t breakable,” Obama said to applause.

The president’s comments at a dinner with “Americans in Support of a Strong U.S.-Israel Relationship” come just weeks after he sparked controversy for saying that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”

Obama noted that while “there may be tactical disagreements in terms of how we approach these difficult problems,” his “broader vision” is one in which a “secure Jewish state is able to live in peace with its neighbors.”

“That will remain our North Star.  That will remain our goal,” he said at the high-dollar fundraiser at the posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The event was the first of two Democratic National Committee fundraisers for the Obama Victory Fund that the president addressed Monday night.  Tickets for the sold-out dinner ranged between $25,000 to $35,800.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May252011

Michele Bachmann Prepping a 'Money Bomb'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Michele Bachmann's goal? Raise $240,000 in 24 hours.

Though the Minnesota Republican says she won't officially announce whether she is running for president until June, it has not stopped the Tea Party favorite from an aggressive grassroots fundraising effort.

"Please make a contribution and join my 24-hour money bomb to raise $240,000 in 24 hours and make Barack Obama a one-term president," Bachmann writes on her website.

Bachmann has already proven herself an adept fundraiser, capable of raising large sums of money through small donations.

Wednesday's "money bomb" appeal is the latest in recent months, in which she has used the Web to launch clever fundraising opportunities aimed at small donors.

Already this year, Bachmann's small donor rate outpaces that of President Obama, and she has raised more from small donors than any of the leading Republican presidential contenders did four years ago, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Bachmann is one the most successful fundraisers in the House.  In the first quarter for the year she raised more than $1.7 million for her re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than any other candidate aside from Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio.

As of March 31, Bachmann's campaign committee reported $2.8 million cash on hand. That cash can be directly donated to a potential presidential fund.

In a video posted alongside today’s "money bomb" appeal, Bachmann deftly skirted around whether or not she had made a decision about ultimately running.

"My family and I are prayerfully considering what the next 18 months or so may bring," she said.

"We've seen incredible support pouring in through Facebook, through our new website and the Team Bachmann momentum is building and it's very encouraging as we look to our next steps. So, with your generous support right now whether its $24 or $240 will continue this momentum and connect with conservatives all across this country, because I believe that together we're going to make Barack Obama a one-term president."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May112011

Obama: Bin Laden's Death 'Should Inspire Us to Finish What We Started'

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) -- At the first of two fundraisers in Austin, Texas Tuesday night, President Obama stuck largely to his standard remarks for these types of events but was able to add a few references to recent news that that got the crowd revved up.

Going through a laundry list of legislative accomplishments over the past two and a half years, the president noted that the nation has made “incredible progress.”

“Sometimes folks forget,” he said.  "Progress shouldn’t make us complacent but should remind us that change is possible.”

A man in the audience then shouted out, “Thank you for getting Bin Laden!”

“Well, there you go -- case in point,” the president said as the crowd roared its approval.  “It should inspire us to finish what we started.”

Obama later brought up bin Laden’s death, again to great applause.

“Because of the extraordinary bravery of the men and women who wear this nation’s uniform and the outstanding work of the intelligence agencies, Osama bin Laden will never again threaten the United States of America,” he said.

The president also highlighted the news that General Motors will add 4,000 American jobs.  About half of those jobs will be filled by some of the 2,000 GM workers who were recently let go from the company.

Approximately 750 people attended the first event at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, with tickets starting at $44 and going to up the legal maximum limit of $35,800.  The second event was a dinner for about 50 people at a private residence in Austin.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr272011

After Putting Birther Issue to Bed, Obama Brings It Up at Three Fundraisers

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Barack Obama wrapped up three fundraising events for his re-election bid by tackling the birther issue head-on -- again.

"My name is Barack Obama. I was born in Hawaii," he said as a crowd of 1,300 stood, screamed and applauded.

Just hours after trying to quash speculation about his birthplace by releasing his long-form birth certificate, Obama couldn't resist poking fun at the controversy.

"Nobody has checked my ID but just in case..." Obama said tongue-in-cheek, as he reached into his pocket pretending to reach for his credentials.

But before he could launch into his stump speech at New York's Town Hall Theater, the president was interrupted by two female protesters in the balcony screaming "six million with AIDS." They were quickly removed by Secret Service officials. 

Moments later, two more protesters in the orchestra section screamed the same chant. They were booed by audience members but allowed to stay when Obama said from the stage, "They can stay, they've made their point. If any of the rest of you have something to say let's knock it out right now," he joked.

The Town Hall Theater fundraiser was the last event of the evening.

It was preceded by a dinner at the Fifth Avenue apartment of former Gov. Jon Corzine and then another dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

All three speeches were remarkably similar and hit his usual themes.

"We have to protect the changes we've made," said Obama as he listed all of the changes he's made over the first two and a half years of his administration, from healthcare reform to the repeal of "DADT."

"There is nothing we can't achieve if we're working together. It might take more than one term to get there," Obama said. "We have no choice but to get there."

According to a DNC source, all three fundraisers will support the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of the DNC and the re-election campaign.  The final event at Town Hall included a performance by The Roots, who have frequently played for Obama's events.

The same source says these three events are expected to raise between $2 to $3 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Apr222011

Big Names Come Out to Raise Big Cash for Obama in Los Angeles

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- President Obama hit up some big names in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles Thursday to pick up millions of dollars for his re-election bid in 2012.

Obama swooped into three fundraisers in four hours, including two dinners and a large rally at Sony Studios in Culver City, California.

The first of the two intimate dinners took place in the Sony Studio commissary and included Motown's Barry Gordy, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa and actor Dennis Haysbert -- best known for playing the president on the television hit series 24 or, alternatively, the Allstate pitchman.

Then later at Tavern restaurant in the exclusive Brentwood section of L.A., actors George Clooney, Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks, director Steven Spielberg and industry executive Jeffery Katzenberg listened as Obama thanked them for sticking with him in 2008 and said he was counting on them for support in his re-election bid in 2012.

“You all got involved when the prospect of electing Barack Hussein Obama was slim.  None of you asked for my birth certificate.  It was a complete leap of faith,” he told about 100 folks at the restaurant, referencing the perpetual questioning of Obama’s place of birth, newly-revived by Donald Trump.

At the Sony dinner, the president told a different group that “We’ve made incredible progress over the last two and a half years, but we’ve got so much more work to do...this is going to be just as hard, if not harder, than 2008 and I’m going to need all of you just as engaged, just as motivated, and taking as much ownership over the campaign as you did then,” he said.

At the large rally for younger donors, a group dubbed Gen44, singers Jamie Foxx and Jason Mraz and actress Rashida Jones warmed up the 2,000 plus audience in Sony’s Studio 30.

Obama launched into what are now becoming familiar themes in his stump speech: the progress made coming back from recession and the challenges ahead, such as comprehensive immigration reform, revamping energy policy, reducing the deficit and implementing "shared sacrifice."  That sacrifice includes ending the Bush tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest two percent of earners and closing “loopholes and tricks” in the tax code.

Democratic party sources said the tickets for all three events started at $100 and ranged up to the maximum legal limit of $35,800.

All of the money raised goes to the Obama Victory Fund.  Though officials declined to disclose a final tally, estimates suggest millions of dollars were raised from about 2,700 donors.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar162011

President Obama Discusses Japan, Middle East at DNC Fundraiser

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Golf, NCAA brackets, Democratic fundraisers, trips to Rio...the president may be engaged in a lot of hard work on Japan, the Middle East and North Africa, the budget, and the economy behind the scenes, but he seems conscious of the fact that participating in some of these other activities might not look so good.

At a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel late Wednesday afternoon, President Obama took a moment to discuss Japan and American leadership.

"We're at a moment in time where obviously all of us are heartbroken by the images of what's happening in Japan,” the president told the crowd. “And we're reminded of how American leadership is critical to our closest allies, even if those allies themselves are economically advanced and powerful, there are moments where they need our help. We're bound together by a common humanity. But we also have the convulsions in the Middle East that offer the prospect of incredible change and offer enormous opportunities so that our children could live in a more peaceful world, but we're gonna have to take advantage of them."

The president's remarks were more somber than you might expect at a DNC fundraiser. He mentioned Iraq, the need to bring Afghanistan war to an end in a way that's safe and secure, fighting terrorism, education and other issues.

The remarks come at a time when pundits and others are starting to criticize President Obama’s leadership style as too remote and detached, ceding too much leadership in international affairs when it comes to Libya and spending too much time engaged in activities that seem less than priorities, such as the round of golf he played over the weekend and the NCAA picks he revealed on ESPN and ESPN 2.

President Obama urged those watching his NCAA picks special to donate to Japan relief at usaid.gov. On Wednesday, a reporter asked White House press secretary Jay Carney if it was appropriate for the president to be addressing a crisis of this gravity as he's standing before a whiteboard talking about the basketball tournament.

“There are crises all the time, and for every president,” Carney said. “And again, this one is happening halfway around the world, and it is severe, and it is important, and it is the focus of a great deal of the president's attention, as are the events in the Middle East, as are the agenda items that he is pursuing to grow the economy and increase jobs in America and make sure we out-innovate, out-build and out-educate the competition in the 21st century.”

Carney continued, “It's a hard job. It requires a lot.” He noted the president urged March Madness fans to take a moment while filling out their brackets to make financial donations to a variety of charitable organizations to help the Japanese. “So yes, I do think it was appropriate,” Carney said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Mar092011

Obama Raises $1 Million for Dems at Boston Fundraiser

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- After making his pitch for winning the future at an inner-city school in Boston, President Obama lent his presence to a fundraiser expected to generate $1 million for congressional Democrats at the city's Museum of Fine Arts.

At the $5,000 a plate dinner ($50,000 for couples to get the VIP treatment), Obama told a group of 152 donors that under his leadership -- and with the help of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- “we didn’t just rescue the economy, we put it on the strongest footing for the future."

Though TV cameras were excluded from the event, a pool of several reporters was permitted to listen to Obama's campaign-style, rally-the-Democrats remarks and distribute notes.

Obama said his administration has “had to make a series of quick decisions, and often times unpopular decisions."

“Not only were we able to yank this economy out of the recession ... Not only were we able to get this economy going again, that in the last 15 months we’ve seen the economy add jobs…but under Nancy’s leadership we were able to achieve historic health care legislation that over the last 15, 20 years will end up benefiting millions of families across the country," Obama said, adding that, “along the way we saved the auto industry and a few other things” -- a quip that drew laughter.

“There will be cases when Democratic constituencies aren’t happy with us because we have to rationalize government,” Obama said, responding to criticism about some of his own cuts.

But he says that government will have to continue investing in education in order to make it possible for kids to receive a good tech-based education.

Obama also trumpeted the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military, his clean energy initiatives and defended his plans in Afghanistan.

Pelosi attended the event as did Vicky Kennedy and Massachusetts Rep Ed Markey, who called Obama the “true fulfillment” of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for America.

Before he made his remarks, White House representatives said Obama met briefly with members of the Boston Celtics basketball organization.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

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