Bloomberg News

Obama Taps Entertainers to Stay Ahead of Romney’s Money

June 14, 2012

President Barack Obama called Republican attacks against him “elegant,” “crisp” and mistaken as he spoke at the first of two New York City fundraisers due to bring in $4.5 million for his campaign.

Obama told approximately 50 donors tonight at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s red brick four-story townhouse that Republicans are delivering a simple message. “You can fit it on a bumper sticker.”

The message, Obama said, is, “If you’re frustrated and you’re disappointed, then it’s the fault of the guy in the White House. That’s an elegant message. It happens to be wrong, but it’s crisp.”

Among those in attendance were actress Meryl Streep and Michael Kors, the designer and chief creative officer of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS:US) The guests paid $40,000 to attend the reception, co-hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Another 250 people will pay $10,000 apiece for a dinner at the Plaza Hotel hosted by singer Mariah Carey and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey. Booker angered the Obama campaign with remarks on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last month, criticizing the president’s attacks on Romney’s private-equity experience.

Obama told the guests at Parker’s home, “We’ve got a huge amount of work to do.” He said his re-election would ensure that a health-care overhaul is implemented and the transition in Afghanistan is successful.

Financial Reform

He revisited a theme from his remarks earlier today in Cleveland that Republicans want to return to the same policies that “got us into this mess in the first place,” including eliminating financial reform and keeping tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Millard Drexler, chief executive officer of J. Crew Group Inc., and Andy Cohen, Bravo’s senior vice president of development and talent, were also at the Parker dinner where guests ate by candlelight at a long rectangular table.

Wintour is a top bundler for Obama, having raised at least $500,000 for his campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks political financing.

While the pace of Romney’s fundraising has increased since he secured the Republican nomination, Obama’s re-election committee more than doubled the amount raised by Romney’s campaign through April, taking in $222.3 million to $100.4 million, and had $115.2 million in the bank entering May, compared with $9.2 million for the challenger.

Message Defined

Before the fundraiser at Parker’s home, the president toured the unfinished 22nd floor of a skyscraper being built on the grounds of the World Trade Center towers, which were destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, joined by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, met with workers and signed one of the last steel beams to be put in the structure’s framework.

“We remember. We rebuild. We come back stronger!” Obama wrote above his signature.

Bloomberg is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Washington at kandersen7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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