Obama visits Bay Area for brief fundraiser

Obama raises $1.2 million in San Francisco
October 25, 2011 6:52:22 PM PDT
President Barack Obama spent less than three hours in San Francisco on a quick fundraising trip. Those attending paid somewhere between $5,000 or $7,500 for lunch to get into the event at the W Hotel. Obama raised about $1.2 million while he was here and he told supporters the campaign is going to be hard, but worth it.

President began by telling his audience what they already know -- it has been a tough couple of years and Americans are crying out for action.

"But they do believe what most of you believe which is that America should be a place where you can make it if you try," said Obama.

He criticized Republicans for what the president characterized as the same old agenda under President George W. Bush.

"They have two basic economic priorities, two basic proposals -- tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and the second proposal is to gut just about every regulation that you could think of," said Obama.

He told supporters to focus on what has changed. Under his presidency, he held off an economic meltdown, saved the American automobile industry, and passed the affordable healthcare act.

"Change is keeping the promise that I made when I started this campaign, that this December we will have all of our troops out of Iraq, back home for the holidays," said Obama.

The chair of California's Republican Party, Tom del Becarro, says it's just the president trying to save his own job.

"I think the reality is he only has a plan to raise money. He doesn't have a plan to fix the economy. And if he doesn't have that plan and he can't build consensus, maybe this is his only outlet, but it's not going to help the economy," said Del Becarro.

The White House is trying to counter that criticism.

"I'm here to tell you, whether you're an old grizzled veteran or new to the scene, I need your help," said Obama. "You know the hope poster is a little faded and a little dog-eared, but that vision is still there. That commitment is still there."

The president said that hope and change have been positive, saving the U.S. auto industry.

"And by the way, it's profitable making cars that are more fuel efficient than ever before and we've double fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks which is going to take carbon out of our atmosphere and make us less dependent on foreign oil. That's change that you produced," said Obama.

Add to that the Affordable Health Care Act, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the end of the war in Iraq.

"So the question is how committed are you going to be to continue this process?" said Obama.

There is more to do said the president, adding that he's accomplished about 60 percent, with 40 percent to go.

"We've got more work to do, we've got more work to do to reform our education system, we've got more work to do to bring our deficit down in a balanced way and I can only do it with you," said Obama.

"The president can't afford to simply be on a political trip, he has to be seen to be taking some steps to make the job situation better in this country, steps that he can take by himself without the Congress," said ABC7's political analyst, professor Bruce Cain, Ph.D.

Monday the president announced government loan changes intended to help homeowners who are underwater with their mortgages. And on Tuesday, he said student loan repayment schedules will be stretched out to give graduates a break.

Cain says this is going to be the pattern as the president continues to collect campaign cash.

Protesters upset with President Obama

You know the president is in political trouble when many of those who came out to protest his visit, voted for him. It seems President Barack Obama is nothing like candidate Obama. Protesters are saying that three years ago, he asked for their vote and now they're saying they want a return on that investment.

Unelected candidates run for office based on promises, sitting presidents, on their records. So when Obama visited San Francisco Tuesday collecting cash for the upcoming campaign, he also had a gamut to avoid.

"Well people have not wanted to go up against him. He is a Democrat, he is black, and there has been a reluctance to face facts," said protester Michael Lyon.

Well Tuesday, the facts came home to roost, even in the liberal, democratic city of San Francisco. Many of the protestors voted for the president, but feel he has abounded them on issues like medical marijuana, medical care, social security, unemployment, and the alternate energy sources.

"He torpedoed the ozone rule. He is drilling in the arctic where it has never been before. He is expanding coal mining. So on the one hand he says he is working on clean energy, and on the other he is undermining it," said Elijah Zarlia, a Keystone Pipeline opponent.

In short, if this were a marriage, the message would be real simple: "We love you. We don't want a divorce, but it is time for a talk."

"We need you to do what we elected you to do," said protester Claudia Zeiler.

"We're people who supported him in 2008 and we still support him, but we want to make him better," said Zarlia.

The protesters never saw the president and the president never saw them. He came in and left through another entrance.


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