Obama: Don't Make Me Clean Up Your Mess Again
Earning nearly half a million dollars an hour Thursday tonight, President Obama told donors he's looking forward to a "fun debate" on the campaign trail "because it’s always good to have the truth on your side."
Coming near to the close of a rough PR week for the White House, Obama stepped away from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for the evening and raked in more than $1.4 million in the span of not quite three hours at a pair of fundraisers.
He revisited one of the week's controversial moments, when, among other moments, he called House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's fiscal plan "nothing but thinly veiled Social Darwinism" before a luncheon of news editors.
"I gave a speech on Tuesday about the congressional budget that’s been proposed by the Republicans in the House of Representatives -- a budget that Governor Romney, who is the frontrunner in the Republican side, has embraced. Said the budget was marvelous, he said," Obama told the laughing crowd at the Mandarin Oriental. "And when you go through this budget, the vision that it portrays is of an America where everybody is fending for themselves, a few are doing very well at the top, and everybody else is struggling to get by."
Obama said Ryan's budget "gutted" the things we take for granted "as an advanced, responsible society."
Education, infrastructure, veterans' care, and food safety are "shrunk to the point of near invisibility" under the Path to Prosperity, which passed the House before recess, he said.
"And the rationale they provide is, well, the biggest crisis we face is the deficit, so we need to do something about it, we’ve got to make tough choices," the president continued. "They’re absolutely right about that. Unfortunately, the vision that they’re presenting adds to the deficit problem because they say they’re going to cut more taxes for the wealthiest Americans after we have seen the tax rates for wealthy Americans go to below anyplace that they’ve been since I’ve been alive."
The president began the evening at the Jefferson Hotel to meet with 20 supporters at $40,000 a head. The second fundraiser from which the public remarks were issued entertained 250 people at $2,500 each.
Guests at the Mandarin Oriental included Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Fox, haling from the city that will host the Democratic National Convention.
"I believe that in a society as wealthy as ours, we should have a commitment to our seniors and to the disabled," Obama said. "That’s not a sign of weakness. That’s not socialism."