Obama to donors: 'Feel a sense of urgency' about midterms
May 8th, 2014
12:48 PM ET
3 months ago

Obama to donors: 'Feel a sense of urgency' about midterms

Los Angeles (CNN) - Faced with difficult odds in November's midterm elections, President Obama's trying to fire up the base, and energize major donors to the Democratic party as he makes a major fundraising swing along the West Coast.

"My main message to all of you is feel a sense of urgency about this election. This is my last campaign, and I'm going to put everything I've got into it, but I need you to feel that this is just as important, because we can't afford to wait until 2016," the President said at a fundraiser in Los Angeles Wednesday night for both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

With the midterm contests starting to get overshadowed a bit by the next race for the White House, Obama asked that this November's elections not be overlooked.

"A lot of people here are already excited about 2016. You guys were excited about 2008. You got geared up for 2012. I am grateful. But I need some partners. I've got to have a Democratic Senate. And when you think about everything I was able to accomplish with Nancy Pelosi at the helm in the House, all the issues that you care about that we were able to advance when she was the leader, I think you've got a big stake in making sure that we've got a Democratic House as well," the President said.

And the President suggested that this year's contests are arguably as important as what happens in 2016.

"Nothing is going to happen magically, by the way, that changes in 2016 if we still have the same kind of voting patterns and the same dysfunction that we've got right now in Congress. We'll be stymied all over again.

Obama spoke at the home of Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn and his wife Cindy. Among approximately 90 people attending, according to a pool report, were Barbra Streisand, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and James Brolin, as well as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, chairman of the DSCC.

Tickets for the event ranged from $10,000 to $32,400 per person.

Thursday the President headlines an event in at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the Democratic National Committee before departing the Los Angeles area and heading to San Diego to serve as the main attraction at another fundraiser for the DCCC.

Later in the day, Obama flies north to San Jose, where he headlines two more events for the DNC.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

The Democrats currently hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (including two independents who caucus with the party). But the party's defending 21 of the 36 seats in play, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

In the House, Democrats need to pick up 17 GOP-held seats to win back control of the chamber, a feat political handicappers say is unlikely considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts.

The smaller and older electorate that usually turns out during midterm contests traditionally favors Republicans over Democrats. And thanks to Obama's low poll numbers – which are hovering just above all-time lows - and the unpopularity of the president's federal health care law, many in the GOP are increasing optimistic about their chances come November.

Key races to watch in 2014

While there are a number of congressional Democrats facing challenging re-elections this year who aren't screaming for Obama to stump with them, they do look to the President to bring in the bucks. Because when it comes to fundraising, Obama remains the party's top rainmaker.


Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • DCCC • DSCC • Fundraising • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Name JK. SFL. VOTE THE GOP ANTI-HEALTHCARE PARTY OUT iN NOVEMBER AND THE NEW RNC CHAIRMAN CLIVE BUNDY SHOWING THEIR TRUE COLORS

    The GOP, running on nothing , thinks they are going to win in November ????? A lot of MAD voters out here with nobody to blame but the INCOMPETENT GOP. We have a BIG surprise for you in November and it WONT be a GOP victory!!!!!

    May 8, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Harold Read

    Obama needs to lead the charge and have the IRS bear down on the Republican Party!
    Hit Republican donors with audits and taxes!

    May 8, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    I'm not worried about the Senate. That's going to stay in Democrat control. I'm worried about the House which has been causing all the havoc in Washington. The RWNJs in the House have stooped any progress in Congress. They must go if we want to move forward. They're agenda is to dismantle government and destroy it. And they have the audacity to call themselves Americans? They share the same ideology as Cliven Bundy.

    May 8, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. smith

    "Tickets to the event ranged from $10.000 to $32.400 per person". Liberals always make the claim that the GOP caters to the rich, well what do you call this? The Dems are no different than the GOP with regards to the wealthy, they just tell people they are.

    May 8, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Donna

    There is an urgency to keeping record unemployment and economic stagnation for another two years? 8 years of Democrat control of government has been a disaster. Time for some REAL change, not more Democrat disaster and failure.

    May 8, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Tom l

    Weird. Obama was fundraising??

    May 8, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Tom l

    Smith,

    Totally agree

    May 8, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    smith

    "Tickets to the event ranged from $10.000 to $32.400 per person". Liberals always make the claim that the GOP caters to the rich, well what do you call this? The Dems are no different than the GOP with regards to the wealthy, they just tell people they are.
    --------------------
    It's called a fund raiser, which has nothing to do with the accusation by Democrats. Democrats are referring to the policies and agendas that Republicans try to follow. Your argument doesn't make any sense. You're comparing apples to frogs.

    May 8, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. justanaverageguy

    I think the Senate ends up staying Democrat but I'm not confident. Senator Begich of Alaska, one of the vulnerable Dems, says that if the Senate turns red, that he believes Obama will negotiate Social Security cuts with republicans. This should be a major concern for all Americans, regardless of party affiliation.

    May 8, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Thomas

    @Donna
    There is an urgency to keeping record unemployment and economic stagnation for another two years? 8 years of Democrat control of government has been a disaster. Time for some REAL change, not more Democrat disaster and failure.
    ====

    Your absolutely right Don , now that the economy is getting better , it's time to bring back the Bush era non regulation GOP republican politicians that understand the meaning of prosperity .

    Like GW Bush said back in 07 , the American economy is strong .

    May 8, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA – Take Back the House

    I'm not worried about the Senate. That's going to stay in Democrat control. I'm worried about the House which has been causing all the havoc in Washington. The RWNJs in the House have stooped any progress in Congress. They must go if we want to move forward. They're agenda is to dismantle government and destroy it. And they have the audacity to call themselves Americans? They share the same ideology as Cliven Bundy.
    --------
    Forget it. There's NO WAY the house is flipping. NO WAY.

    P.S. If I was a dem, I'd be worried about the Senate. VERY worried.

    May 8, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. rs

    Tom l

    Weird. Obama was fundraising??
    ___________________________
    Yeah, no kidding. No President (and the head of his party) never in American History has ever, ever, done that. Just Sayin', is that you?

    May 8, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Dems in PA

    You bet its’ going to be difficult odds in November's midterm elections, president Obama and Hillary Clinton may find themselves being tried for treason for Benghazi; not Impeachment.

    May 8, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. rs

    smith

    "Tickets to the event ranged from $10.000 to $32.400 per person". Liberals always make the claim that the GOP caters to the rich, well what do you call this? The Dems are no different than the GOP with regards to the wealthy, they just tell people they are.
    ____________________
    Nahh, it just torques the Right that there are rich people out there who don't support the GOP- although they are a minority. Really though, what do you expect? In the face of the largess of the likes of the Koch brothers, Democrats should run on $12 in subway tokens? This is the way the game works.

    May 8, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    justanaverageguy

    I think the Senate ends up staying Democrat but I'm not confident. Senator Begich of Alaska, one of the vulnerable Dems, says that if the Senate turns red, that he believes Obama will negotiate Social Security cuts with republicans.
    ---------
    That's just Begich pushing a fear message. He's toast, by the way.

    May 8, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. it must be said

    Any red state that elects a Democrat to national office is voting against their best interests. Democrats and the far left in control of the party HATES YOU. They think you are redneck LOSERS and uneducated IDIOTS. Why on earth would you vote for something whose party thinks that way about you?

    You are enabling the Demorcat Party to jam things like Obamacare down your throats as well as the entire country. STOP DOING THIS PLEASE. You are being lied to and conned by the Demorcats.

    May 8, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    smith

    "Tickets to the event ranged from $10.000 to $32.400 per person". Liberals always make the claim that the GOP caters to the rich, well what do you call this? The Dems are no different than the GOP with regards to the wealthy, they just tell people they are.
    ------–
    It's called a fund raiser, which has nothing to do with the accusation by Democrats. Democrats are referring to the policies and agendas that Republicans try to follow. Your argument doesn't make any sense. You're comparing apples to frogs.
    -------
    Conservative rants generally consist of connected angry words that, taken together sometime form proper sentences and rarely follow a consistent line of reasoning outside of "hate Obama".

    May 8, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Donna

    Thomas
    @Donna
    There is an urgency to keeping record unemployment and economic stagnation for another two years? 8 years of Democrat control of government has been a disaster. Time for some REAL change, not more Democrat disaster and failure.
    ====
    Your absolutely right Don , now that the economy is getting better , it's time to bring back the Bush era non regulation GOP republican politicians that understand the meaning of prosperity .
    --
    Like GW Bush said back in 07 , the American economy is strong .
    --

    He under estimated the destructive power of a Democrat controlled House and Senate... as did the American people. But they are starting to finally wake up.

    May 8, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. smith

    rs-There is nothing wrong with what the Dems are doing. However, going around saying only the GOP sucks up to the rich when they are doing it also makes the Dems look dishonest and dumb.

    May 8, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. rs

    smith

    "Tickets to the event ranged from $10.000 to $32.400 per person". Liberals always make the claim that the GOP caters to the rich, well what do you call this? The Dems are no different than the GOP with regards to the wealthy, they just tell people they are.
    ______________________
    BTW- When Mr. Romney made his famous 47% statement gaffe, the plate rate was (coincidently) $47k for his little fundraiser- a lunch no less.

    May 8, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. smith

    @Silence-Where in my comment was Obama even mentioned? Your starting to sound like Sniffit and Wake Up. I know in your liberal world you turn a blind eye to the fact that the Dems are paid puppets but you sure don`t with regards to the GOP.

    May 8, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. rs

    Donna

    Thomas
    @Donna
    There is an urgency to keeping record unemployment and economic stagnation for another two years? 8 years of Democrat control of government has been a disaster. Time for some REAL change, not more Democrat disaster and failure.
    ====
    Your absolutely right Don , now that the economy is getting better , it's time to bring back the Bush era non regulation GOP republican politicians that understand the meaning of prosperity .
    -
    Like GW Bush said back in 07 , the American economy is strong .
    -

    He under estimated the destructive power of a Democrat controlled House and Senate... as did the American people. But they are starting to finally wake up.
    ________________________
    Another GOP myth that dies hard under the light of facts. The GOP likes to say because they lost Congress in 2006 that some how the Democrats crashed the ambulance after all those years of Bush economic wonderfulness.
    First, the Democrats elected in Nov. 2006, didn't take office until January, '07. Any laws they passed did not take effect until Q3 or Q4 of 2007. Are you really saying, in the face of the fact that the recession really began in early '08, that the Democrats caused the recession of '08 in something well less than a year? Especially when Republicans had already gutted banking regs, and Bush ran up an almost 5 $trillion debt with his cut-taxes-and-spend "Voodoo" economics?
    Who should "wake-up"?

    May 8, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. rs

    smith

    rs-There is nothing wrong with what the Dems are doing. However, going around saying only the GOP sucks up to the rich when they are doing it also makes the Dems look dishonest and dumb.
    _________________________
    2 men alone bankrolled 25% of the cost of Republican campaigns last cycle, and spent $100 million to campaign against the ACA in the last FY.

    Do the Democrats have anyone spending THAT kind of change? I think not.

    May 8, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Tommy G

    rs
    smith
    rs-There is nothing wrong with what the Dems are doing. However, going around saying only the GOP sucks up to the rich when they are doing it also makes the Dems look dishonest and dumb.
    _________________________
    2 men alone bankrolled 25% of the cost of Republican campaigns last cycle, and spent $100 million to campaign against the ACA in the last FY.
    Do the Democrats have anyone spending THAT kind of change? I think not.
    --

    Labor unions, Hollywood elite and trial lawyers.

    May 8, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Oakspar77777

    The fundraiser in chief at another high-plate dinner to beg for funding to try and find "victory" in 2014 (which, like 2012, is spelled S-T-A-L-E-M-A-T-E).

    The Dems can only lose or hold their own. They have no path to victory in 2014, because they have done nothing but fail since 2008.

    May 8, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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