Obama: Keep Democrats in power

Aug 17th, 2010 | By politicsnews | Category: Politics

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – President Obama, in campaign mode for most of the day, shifted from bashing Republicans to praising his congressional allies at a posh fundraiser late Friday, declaring that keeping Democrats in power “is my focus over the next several months.”

“I hope you understand why we’re here tonight. It’s not to take a picture with the president,” he said, speaking without notes or a teleprompter to a well-heeled audience at the home of television producer Jonathan Wells. “We’re here to make sure those who took the tough votes are rewarded.”It was a significant gesture for Obama, whose relationship with Democratic lawmakers has been strained during the first half of his term. There were several Democrats in the audience, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chair of the party’s House campaign committee.

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Though he inherited tough times, “this is exactly when you want to be president,” Obama said. “This is why I ran, because we have the opportunity to shape history for the better.”Working with Democrats on Capitol Hill, “We have been able to deliver the most progressive legislative agenda — one that helps working families — not just in one generation, maybe two, maybe three,” Obama said.

Obama’s remarks were also a sharp departure from his earlier tone at a fundraiser in Menomonee Falls, Wisc., where he mocked Republicans Monday as the party of “No, we can’t” and skewered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying he wishes the GOP “had been able to obstruct more” of Democrats’ agenda.“Obstruct more? Is that even possible?” Obama said with a laugh during a fundraiser for Tom Barrett, Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Wisconsin. “So apparently that’s their plan for the future: ‘No we can’t.’ Clean energy: ‘No we can’t.’ Health care: ‘No we can’t.’ Wall Street reform: ‘No we can’t.’ ”

In an interview with the New York Times that published Sunday, McConnell said he was “amused” by Democrats’ “comments about obstructionism.”

“I wish we had been able to obstruct more,” McConnell said. “They were able to get the health care bill through. They were able to get the stimulus through. They were able to get the financial reform through. These were all major pieces of legislation, and if I would have had enough votes to stop them, I would have.”

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