(CNN) – Rep. Nancy Pelosi is a "visionary" leader who "never lets ideology cloud her judgment," President Barack Obama told a crowd of donors in San Francisco Wednesday evening.
Obama is in the Golden State on the first fundraising swing of his second term, kicking off a series of events that will gather money for Congressional Democrats looking to regain control of the House in 2014.
At two events Wednesday in the Bay Area, Obama reiterated the goals he spelled out during his inauguration address in January, including a push for comprehensive immigration reform. He said he expected an immigration reform measure to be passed "over the next couple of months" during his first reception in San Francisco.
He mentioned combating climate change as another priority of his second term, but conceded the politics of that issue would be difficult. Republicans are currently pressuring the president to approve the northern portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which environmental activists oppose, in part, because type of oil transmitted would release more greenhouse gases than the average transportation fuels sold or distributed in the United States.
"Part of what we're going to have to do is to marry a genuine, passionate concern about middle-class families and everybody who is trying to get into the middle class to show them that we're working just as hard for them as we are for our environmental agenda, and that we can bridge these things in a way that advances the causes of both," Obama said, admitting "that's going to take some work."
Achieving his legislative goals – which also include new gun laws and passage of his proposed budget – would be helped with Democrats in control of the House, Obama told the crowd of Democratic donors.
"My hope is that we're going to see more and more Republicans who say, you know what, I didn't come here just to fight the president or demonize Nancy Pelosi, I came here to get some stuff done," he said. "And they will be greeted with great enthusiasm by me and I think by Nancy, if we could get some more stuff done right now. But, realistically, I could get a whole lot more done if Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the House."
The president will hold a total of 14 fundraising events this year for congressional Democrats - five each for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Each committee will also host an event featuring the president in D.C., and Obama will attend two joint galas for Democratic candidates.