Obama, justifying new group, says supporters' voices need to be heard
March 13th, 2013
09:34 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama, justifying new group, says supporters' voices need to be heard

Washington (CNN) – Organizing for Action, the political group newly formed from President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, wasn't created to win the 2014 midterm elections, the president told a restaurant full of the group's supporters Wednesday.

Instead, Obama described OFA's mission as making sure "the voices of people who put me here continue to be heard."

"We are helping to build, or sustain, a network of citizens who have a voice in the most critical debates that are going to be taking place next year," Obama said at the dinner, which was attended by roughly 70 people sitting at round tables.

Some Republicans have criticized the group as merely a conduit for wealthy donors to buy access to Obama, though the White House firmly denied meetings with the president could be purchased.

Critics have also said the group's creation signals the president’s early entry into the 2014 midterm elections. Obama said Wednesday that's not the case.

"I think here in Washington this idea has been viewed … both with suspicion, and people have been puzzled with what we're trying to do," he said. "Because the usual idea is, well, this must be a mechanism to win the next election in 2014, and what we've tried to explain to people is actually, I just want to govern. At least for a couple years."

Lawmakers in conservative districts will be bolstered by OFA as they make tough political choices during his second term, Obama said, pointing to upcoming votes on immigration reform and gun control.

"I want to make sure they feel supported, even if they may get a lot of pushback in that district," he said.

As for critics who charge that OFA's big donors are buying access, Obama pointed back to his presidential campaign, where he said political favors weren't expected in exchange for contributions.

"One of the things that I'm proudest of, during the course of two campaigns where we raised an awful lot of money, is that the people who got involved didn't ask me for stuff, expect for me to be true to my vision, and true to my agenda," Obama said.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. jack878

    "One of the things that I'm proudest of, during the course of two campaigns where we raised an awful lot of money, is that the people who got involved didn't ask me for stuff, expect for me to be true to my vision, and true to my agenda," Obama said." Really how stupid does he think we are. Obama is a mouth piece for his union and trial lawyer masters who are the major sources of his financing. Do a little reseach on where billions went flush down the toilet to his campaign bundlers for failed healthcare and green projects.

    March 13, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. db

    Well, lets see. The guy closes the people's house to it's citizens yet opens it to folks that will line his pocket with $500,000. Hey, what's not to like about the guy. (eyes rolling)

    March 13, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. Chipster

    I see nothing wrong with organizing to win Congress in 2014! We need to end this gridlock, corporate greed, and religious fanaticism in our government. Elect representatives who can add and perhaps even understand that 39 attempts to ban gay marriage will not create jobs.

    March 13, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  4. me

    his proudest moment was in announcing he can be bought...cheaply

    March 13, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Repubs are just jealous because they don't dare trot out the folks who tried to elect Mittens.

    March 13, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  6. Jeff O'Dette

    Just get rid of the tea-repubs. Every thing will fall into place.

    March 14, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  7. Name

    Yep if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn cheep! If you look at the Black caucus's complaints about not getting enough appointees in the administration just the other day. Even if he doesn't want to tell the truth his activist do. Obama is just another liein politician his supporters are gonna get mad because he has been an expensive buy and now he reneges on them.

    March 14, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  8. fiftyfive55

    This is the same as them saying they weren't going to politicize the gun issues in the wake of a couple of crazies flippin out and yet here they go again,denying the obvious polticizing of everything in the name of votes instead of what's good for working men and women. Shame,Shame,Shame.

    March 14, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  9. Dilip Samuels

    OFA should work to reduce the Republicans to TEARS IN 2014

    March 14, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  10. Minnie Mouse

    Yes, hear our voices but are you really going to listen and do anything that we say. American people have good ideas and concerns, this is why people have joined the "Organizing for Action". If you ever going to make any dent in the countries debt, you have to end the "YA BUTS". Lol. There's always a provision added to everything, just in order to get your way to make things go through. Yes, you ended the white house tour but now your wanting to make special provisions to allow for "School Tours". So with that said, your not really ending the "White House Tours".

    March 14, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  11. Rob

    Obama has lied to us so often,I see no reason to believe him now. They already said for 500,000, they can attend meetings with the president.

    March 14, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |