President Barack Obama charged Sunday that the GOP vision of government would “fundamentally cripple America,” as he tried out his newly combative message on the liberal West Coast.
Aiming to renew the ardor of Democratic loyalists who have grown increasingly disenchanted with him, the president mixed frontal attacks on Republicans with words of encouragement intended to buck up the faithful as the 2012 campaign revs up.
“From the moment I took office what we’ve seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity,” the president said at an intimate brunch fundraiser at the Medina, Wash., home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley.
About 65 guests were paying $35,800 per couple to listen to Obama at the first of seven fundraisers he was holding from Seattle to Hollywood to San Diego on Sunday and Monday. The three-day West Coast swing, ending Tuesday in Denver, offered him the chance to try to reassure some of his most liberal and deep-pocketed supporters.
At his first fundraiser of the day, President Obama told donors that electing a Republican presidential candidate next year would usher in “an approach to government that would fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century,” and he cited the current budget debate in Congress as part of “a constant ideological pushback” that his agenda has encountered since he took office.
He said the 2012 election will be “especially hard because a lot of people are discouraged” but vowed to “keep drawing a clear contrast” between his vision and that of the GOP. Fuller quotes below.
Around 12:50 pm print pool was taken to the room where Mr. Obama spoke. It was a airy, vast rectangular space, like entering a wing at a contemporary art museum — all white from the floors to the tall ceiling, large paintings lining the walls, sculptures throughout. Donors were seated in the middle of the room at round tables with burnt orange table cloths and sunflower centerpieces. (Democratic official updates to say the final headcount at the event was 65 people.)
Mr. Obama, who was taking photos with some donors in a room off to the side before delivering his remarks, was introduced by his host, Jon Shirley. He spoke for about 10 minutes. “What a spectacular setting,” he remarked. POTUS mixed up Mr. Shirley’s name, saying, “I was saying to Mark that I wish I had time to just roam around because this is as beautiful a collection as I’ve ever seen. I want to thank you Mark. . .” A couple of people said, “Jon” and POTUS quickly corrected himself.
“It is not just a national crisis it is an international crisis that we’ve been managing for the last three years,” he said. “Domestically we still have a lot more to do to heal this economy and to deal with some of the structural problems that existed even before the financial crisis hit.” He cited energy policy and “trade strategies” as examples.
He said November 2008 wasn’t the end of the journey but just the beginning. He said politics of Washington have made challenges tougher.
“My hope when I came into office that was because we were in crisis that the other side would respond by saying now is the time for all of us to pull together,” he said. “That was not the decision they made so from the moment I took office what we’ve seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity.”
He said, “We’re seeing it even now. As we speak there’s a debate going on in Congress about whether disaster relief funding should be granted as part of the overall budget to keep the government open.” He said that’s never happened before. “What makes it worse is that some of the Republicans who are opposing this disaster relief it’s their constituents who’ve been hit harder than anyone by these natural disasters,” he said.
He said his message to members of Congress over the last two weeks — Democrats and Republicans, but particularly Republicans – is “I’m prepared to work with you but these games have to stop.”
He said he doesn’t know how this fiscal debate is going to shake out and a lot of it depends on how much pressure Republicans feel from people across the country. “But we are going to keep drawing a clear contrast between a vision that we have for where we want to take this country . . . with a vision that says somehow we’ve got to shrink our vision of what America is.”
He finished by talking about the election next year:
“2012 is going to be tough. It is going to be a tough race. It is not going to be all good feeling, although sometimes I have to remind people that 2008 wasn’t all good feeling either,” he said, which got a laugh from the crowd.
“But this is going to be especially hard because a lot of people are discouraged and a lot of people are disillusioned. . . . But I’m determined because there’s too much at stake. The alternative I think is an approach to government that would fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century and that’s not the kind of society that I want to bequeath to Malia and Sasha, and your children and your grandchildren.”
“We’re just starting off here. We’ve got 14 months,” he said, adding that he’ll need their help conveying that it’s not a failure that he’s only got 80% of what he wants done. “That’s a success,” he said, and should serve as an inspiration to his supporters to re-elect him to get the other 20% done.
He told the group he hopes they’re as excited about Inauguration Day 2013 as they were about Inauguration Day 2009.
As pool was being ushered out POTUS was taking his first question from a man who asked about the economy. Pool couldn’t hear the full question and was out of earshot by the time POTUS answered.
I have tried about ten times to put in my two cents on this, but keep getting hung up at who
is this fuckwad trying to dupe......
Posted over at Weasel Zippers