Obama mixes debate preparation with fundraising
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama warned Democrats about becoming too complacent with six weeks left before the election. He joked that Democrats tend to believe that the "sky is falling" or that "everything is great."
"This is going to be a close race right down to the wire," he told about 90 donors gathered Friday evening at the Washington home of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat.
The president's remarks came amid public polls that show him gaining advantages in some key battleground states. It also came months after anxious Democrats worried that Obama would not be able to keep up with Republican rival Mitt Romney's fundraising.
In a day partly devoted to a fundraising blitz for himself and other Democrats, Obama also offered themes of political unity, telling another group of donors that the nation is "not as divided as the pundits make it seem."
"I don't know how many folks will vote for me this time around," Obama told an afternoon audience of donors at a hotel near the White House. "But I say the same thing to them (as in 2008): I will be your president, too."
"I'm not fighting to create Democrat or Republican jobs," he added. "I'm fighting to create American jobs."
Obama continued to seize on a leaked video in which Romney said that 47 percent of people "will vote for the president no matter what." Romney described them as people who pay no federal income tax and "believe that they are victims."
Obama spoke at the first of three fundraisers after another Friday afternoon of debate prep at Democratic National Committee headquarters. He will face off against Romney in Denver on Wednesday.
The afternoon fundraiser at the Capital Hilton drew an estimated 700 guests with tickets starting at $250.
Tickets for the event at Rockefeller's home cost $20,000 per person.
The final fundraiser, back at the Hilton, drew an estimated 200 people who paid $2,500 or more to attend. The money was set for Obama's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic parties.
"If you guys have written all the checks you can," Obama told donors at the final event, "go find some friends."