Chicago (CNN) – Speaking at a political fundraiser, President Barack Obama promised Wednesday to work tirelessly to convince the American people that Democrats’ ideas are the right ones.
But at the same time, he attempted to strike a bipartisan tone, acknowledging that while Washington may appear broken, “it can be fixed.”
“We’ve got everything that we need to succeed,” the president said at the fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “But the one thing that’s still missing is a politics that matches up with the decency and the hard work and determination and creativity of the American people. We’ve got a politics that’s stuck right now.”
Vowing to work with all Republicans who “don’t think compromise is a dirty word,” Obama said that the task facing all politicians is to create a government that’s befitting the next generation of Americans.
“The generation coming behind us, I mean they are spectacular,” the president said.
“We’ve just got to make sure that we leave for them a political system that allows them to express all that incredible creativity and ingenuity and wonderful values that they’re going to be able to express through our politics. That’s what this project’s about.”
The early evening reception in the small ballroom at the Chicago Hilton was the first of two fundraisers the president is headlining for the DCCC during a one-night visit to his hometown. Roughly 150 people paid between $1,000 and $5,000 to hear the president speak about gun control, education, U.S. infrastructure and climate change.
“We will over the next couple of decades have the capacity to be energy independent for the first time - incredible change,” Obama told the crowd.
“It will change geopolitics for generations to come and it frees ourselves from dependence not only on foreign oil generally, but from some of the most volatile parts of the world. But what we also know is, is that the climate is changing in ways that we can’t fully predict, but we know are not going to be good for our kids.”
In addition to donors, the audience included many members of the Illinois congressional delegation as well as Democratic power players such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as White House chief of staff during Obama’s first two years as president.
After speaking at the Hilton, the president drove to the home of longtime supporters and Democratic activists Paul and Bettylu Saltzman, without whom Obama said he would never have been elected president.
"It's true," he said, saying she had treated him like a son in Chicago, introducing him to many people who would eventually become political supporters. "Love that woman."
There a crowd of roughly 70 people had paid either $10,000 per person or $32,400 per couple for dinner with the president.
The pair of fundraisers is the third that the president has headlined for the DCCC; he’s scheduled for three more this year.