President Obama admitted at a fundraiser last night in New York that an economy struggling to get back on its feet would make November’s election “close.”
Obama was feted at the ornate home Hamilton “Tony” James, president and COO of Blackstone Group, a large private equity firm. The president said he felt for the hosts as they described “what it’s like to have people move furniture out of six of your rooms.”
He reiterated the campaign stump that this is going to be “as stark a choice in terms of visions for the future as any election that we’ve seen in a very long time.”
“I believe that the free market is the greatest wealth generator ever devised by man, and it’s at the heart, at the core of who we are,” Obama said.
“And in this campaign, what’s going to be tested is whether that view, which says, yes, we believe in individual initiative and we believe in risk-taking and we believe in markets and entrepreneurship, but we also believe in doing some things together, because all of us prosper from that — whether that’s a better idea or the better idea is just, everybody is on their own; we slash taxes more for those of us who have been incredibly fortunate and blessed by this system; slowly those rungs on the ladder to upward mobility start to fray; people are left to fend for themselves,” he added.
Obama predicted “there’s going to be a lot of noise and a lot of day-to-day skirmishes and arguing” in the presidential campaign.
“This is going to be a tough election,” he said. “This is going to be a close election precisely because there are folks out there who are still hurting. But I’m pretty confident that if we work hard, if we stay true to that vision, that it’s the one that the American people believe in as well.”
Today’s Real Clear Politics polling average has Obama up 2.2 percent over Mitt Romney.