While acknowledging the last three years have been “tough,” President Obama touted the progress made on his watch during a fundraising reception yesterday at the swanky Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
Addressing a crowd of about 400 at the reception where tickets ranged from $1,000 to $5,000, Obama urged his supporters to “think about everything that we’ve accomplished together.”
Touting healthcare reform, the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the auto bailout, the death of Osama bin Laden, and the recent spike in jobs, Obama told the gathering “that change that you believed in has begun to happen.”
For Obama, the speech was an opportunity to ask his supporters in the Democrat-rich South Florida area for their continued support. His message was to stay just as “involved and engaged and motivated in 2012 as you were in 2008.”
“If you’re willing to keep pushing with me, if you’re willing to keep struggling with me, if you’re continuing to reach out for that vision of America that we all share, I promise you change will come.”
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who introduced Obama at the fundraiser, also implored the crowd to remember the historic 2008 election. She said if the last election was “historic,” this one is “personal.”
After the Biltmore reception, Obama spoke to a more intimate gathering inside the Pinecrest home of veteran Miami power-broker Chris Korge. He also attended a private fundraising dinner at the home of former Orlando Magic star Vince Carter in Windermere, where tickets started at $30,000 a plate. The president was expected to raise more than $3.5 million during the three events.
His foray into Florida–his second this year– wasn’t entirely devoted to fundraising. Earlier in the day, Obama visited the University of Miami, where he talked about energy production. During that speech, Obama hit back at Republicans for politically “licking their chops” over rising gas prices.
“Some politicians always see this as a political opportunity. You’re shocked, I know,” Obama told the crowd of University of Miami students and faculty.
“Only in politics do people greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more, and they’re licking their chops?” Obama said. “And you can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas.”