July 22nd, 2014
08:31 AM ET
3 months ago

Obama set to rake in millions, despite criticism of fundraising during tumult

Seattle (CNN) – Republicans and some political pundits have taken sharp aim at President Barack Obama for maintaining his fundraising schedule amid a period of global unrest.

Not among those complaining? Democrats who stand to benefit from the millions of dollars in campaign cash Obama will help pull in this week during a three-day West Coast swing, bringing him into the homes of entertainment and real estate bigwigs in Seattle, the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

Based on descriptions of Obama’s fundraisers from Democratic officials, Obama could raise north of $6 million during the trip, which comes at the same time as an Israeli ground invasion into Gaza and international outcry over the downing of a jetliner over Ukraine.

That figure is based on estimates of attendance at Obama’s five fundraisers, using the highest in a range of possible ticket prices. The total sum could be far less.

Obama’s latest fundraising swing, along with a pair of fundraising stops last Thursday, have come under scrutiny from Republicans who say it sends the wrong message for the president to be engaged in starkly political activities during times of crisis.

“I don’t understand this president,” Sen. John McCain said on Fox Sunday. “The crisis on the border and he did the fundraisers, the fundraisers in New York while there are major major conflicts, not to mention the loss of American lives reported. I do not understand it.”

Obama first learned of the Malaysia Air crash during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the White House Thursday, deciding afterward to stick to his pre-planned schedule that including the fundraising events in New York.

White House officials maintain it was the right decision for Obama to stick to his plans that day, which also included a stop for hamburgers in Delaware. They say the President can undertake the tasks necessary of the commander-in-chief wherever he goes using secure equipment and a retinue of staff.

Indeed, during his trip last Thursday Obama phoned world leaders from the road and convened a meeting of his national security team, huddled back at the White House.

The same resources are available during Obama’s swing down the West Coast, which includes only one public event at a college campus in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, said Monday Obama would return to Washington “if it becomes clear that there’s a need for him to come back to the White House in order to fulfill those functions” of being president.

“Right now it’s not apparent that that’s the case,” he said.

The White House did nix an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying they had looked at taping with the comedian this week but “elected not to do it at this time.”

Obama’s first stop in the Pacific Northwest will bring the President to the home of developer Bruce Blume and his wife Ann. That gathering will benefit the Democratic National Committee.

Later he’ll headline an event hosted by Jim Sinegal, a co-founder of wholesale giant Costco, that benefits the Senate Majority PAC. It's just the second time the President's headlined a fundraiser for the major outside group supporting Democratic Senate incumbents and candidates running this year.

A fundraising first for Obama

Obama will pass the hat around this week for House Democrats at an event outside San Francisco, and again for the DNC at the homes of “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino in Los Angeles.

Here in Seattle, residents say they’re more concerned about the wildfires raging in the interior of Washington State than the crisis in Gaza or the plane in Ukraine. Fueled by a dry, hot summer, fires are spanning almost 250,000 acres and driving hundreds of people from their homes.

Nearly 650 residents of Pateros, situated on the Columbia River in northern Washington, were evacuated over the weekend when flames began spilling down hillsides, eventually burning most of the town’s homes to the ground.

Obama wasn’t scheduled to publicly acknowledge the natural disaster during his stop in the Pacific Northwest Tuesday.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

 

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    More GOP/Teatroll alternate reality bubble talk. Let me explain this to you: "Missions" are when POTUS leaves Andrews AFB and returns. "Sorties" are each leg of a flight...e.g., a "mission" to CA might involve stop-overs and therefore contain several "sorties." The ridiculous chain emails complaining about Obama flying 172 times in 2010 actually refer to "sorties," not "missions," which is a very dishonest way of trying to inflate the number to make it sound like he's taking more trips than he really is. And now, for some numbers I found:

    Obama in 2010 and 2011: 126 missions and 324 sorties.

    Dubya in his first two years: 148 missions and 416 sorties. Dubya's 8 year total was 1,674 sorties (average of 209 per year), which covered 1,490,698 miles. He used AF1 to go to his ranch in Crawford a total of 77 times ($20M) and still holds the record for number of days on vacation. You said nothing about it ever when it was happening...and that's a fact I don't need to prove.

    We know what you mean tho. "That one" shouldn't be traveling in the same style as one of the rightful whiteful rulers of the country. Just galls you that he's PWB, don't it?

    July 22, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. it must be said

    rs
    it must be said
    Right side of Democrat's mouth = Citizens United! Citizens United!! Citizens United!!! Going to destroy our country!!!
    Left side of Democrat's mouth = Millions! Tens of millions!! Hundreds of millions!!! BILLIONS! GIVE US BLLION$$$$!!!!
    At this point, I don't know why anybody believes a word that comes out of either side of their mouth.
    _________________________
    Only a fool takes a knife to a gun fight. If the GOP believes money=free speech and "corporations are people too", or that companies can have religious beliefs, to fight such an opponent- one needs money too. Obama and the Democrats are fighting the battle in the terrain the GOP created. get over it.
    ---

    As usual your failed logic is obvious to all. Obama lied about taking public financing in 2008, long before the Citizens United decision. Then went on to raise records amount of money. Only to then complain about all the money in politics and how elections are being bought.

    You gotta give Obama credit, he can spew this stuff and keep a straight face. He is truly a master snake oil salesman, especially for the low IQ Democrat voters.

    July 22, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Ol' Yeller

    "I don’t understand this president,” Sen. John McCain said on Fox Sunday. “The crisis on the border and he did the fundraisers, the fundraisers in New York while there are major major conflicts, not to mention the loss of American lives reported. I do not understand it.”

    This from the guy who wanted to suspend his campaign (for about 5 minutes, at which tme he realized how weak and indecisive that made him look) due to the bush's complete economic meltdown caused by total ineptness as president.
    Of course he doesn't understand... he can't walk and chew gum at the same time and if the answer isn't 'send in troops', then he is always wrong (remember the surprise by all the republicants when the 'surge' worked.... the answer just did happen to be 'send troops' in that instance, so of course mccain was right... wrong 99.8% of the time, but when the answer is send troops, he is right).
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day....

    July 22, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. freedom

    @TONE

    You must not have been paying attention when George W. Bush appointed the first African American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and then appointed the first female African American, Condoleezza Rice next. That destroys your ignorant theory of racism and the bogus war on women. Republicans are way ahead of curve – and this president is trying to push everyone backwards – I'm not on board.

    July 22, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    "Oh please."

    Indeed. And, hey ... how was your weekend?

    July 22, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Ol' Yeller Posted:

    "This from the guy who wanted to suspend his campaign (for about 5 minutes, at which tme he realized how weak and indecisive that made him look) due to the bush's complete economic meltdown caused by total ineptness as president.
    Of course he doesn't understand... he can't walk and chew gum at the same time and if the answer isn't 'send in troops', then he is always wrong (remember the surprise by all the republicants when the 'surge' worked.... the answer just did happen to be 'send troops' in that instance, so of course mccain was right... wrong 99.8% of the time, but when the answer is send troops, he is right).
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day...."
    ------------------------
    The success of the Iraq Surge has less to do with troop presence that the billions in bribes that we paid out to get tribal leaders on our side.

    July 22, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Wes

    obama is a disaster.

    July 22, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Tone

    freedom

    @TONE

    You must not have been paying attention when George W. Bush appointed the first African American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and then appointed the first female African American, Condoleezza Rice next. That destroys your ignorant theory of racism and the bogus war on women. Republicans are way ahead of curve – and this president is trying to push everyone backwards – I'm not on board.

    Well condemn the birthers, and the ignorant racist comments that comes out of the mouths of palin limbaugh, and some of your congressmen can you? republiclowns are racist, and i will not change my opinion, and people like cannot come on board because you are one of them.

    July 22, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake up!
    McCain is a sore loser and has been complaining about this POTUS from day 1. It's been 6 years McWarmonger, get over it and move the heck on! Some people can walk and chew gum at the same time. The POTUS remains popular even with the 24/7 bashing him by the GOP and their GOP owned MSM.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Yes indeed babe.
    The thing is MCShame will never get over his butt-whipping because it is the only thing that makes him relevant to this century, well, that and crashing planes during his Vietnam stint.. He's still trying , albeit unsuccessfully, to bait the President into taking unnecessary military action anywhere in the world.

    July 22, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Ol' Yeller
    This from the guy who wanted to suspend his campaign (for about 5 minutes, at which tme he realized how weak and indecisive that made him look)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Didn't he actually leave his campaign to go to Washington and "assist" in the crisis while then-candidate Obama stated that there should only be one President at a time?
    These people are jokes.
    And not funny ones at that Ol' Yeller.

    July 22, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "You must not have been paying attention when George W. Bush appointed the first African American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and then appointed the first female African American, Condoleezza Rice next. That destroys your ignorant theory of racism and the bogus war on women. Republicans are way ahead of curve – and this president is trying to push everyone backwards – I'm not on board."
    ===

    Neither of those things disproves the overall disparate effect of GOP/Teatroll policies on the rights, freedoms and liberty of minorities and women (or the LGBT community either)...nor does it undo the very specific and pervasive agenda they've pursued with respect to things like employment discrimination or voting rights or redistricting or marriage or any number of other things, including even court decisions about them, that prove the GOP/Teatrolls are all about protecting discrimination as something they view as their "right."

    In fact...and take off your tinfoil hat for this one, junior, because it's gonna blow your mind: the GOP/Teatrolls' consistent reliance upon tokens as their ONLY "rebuttal" to charges of racism, misogyny and bigotry actually has the opposite of its intended effect, particularly with the vast majority of the demographic groups involved, WHO CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH IT AND DISLIKE YOU EVEN MORE FOR IT.

    July 22, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Tone

    I am very sorry but this country did not come a long way with regards to race relations we are still back there, and anyone who think otherwise must be naive. My King, and President Obama made me realise that with his election.

    July 22, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Tone
    My King, and President Obama made me realise that with his election
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Amen to that!

    July 22, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Longtimer

    OBAMA – THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Fund raising is the only thing he really seems to excel at so he never even bothers to stop during a crisis. Obama is out of his depth on so many things that it would be nice if he was at least engaged and actually attempted to do his job. He has given up.
    _________________________
    You clearly have no powers of observation, or prefer to parrot Fox and the other lunatic media outlet echo chamber noise. Clearly the President has been successful- note we haven't invaded the wrong country on his watch. We have no new wars. The economy? Doing well. hundreds of thousands of new jobs every month, unemployment below 2008, record corporate profits, growing GDP. Obamacare- very successful by any measure. All done without the GOP BTW. The very fact he is so successful fundraising means he is both popular and well supported. Something else that spoils your little rant. If the GOP lost its source of Koch, they'd be out of business by the end of the quarter.
    ++++++++++++
    Long term unemployment has increase 14% since Obama has been in office as much as they have tried to conceal it like they do everything else. Obamacare we could call a lot of things but successful is not one of them and it took a hit today. Democrats are good at raising money so he can do that anytime but its just an observation that he seems to like that more than anything else even in times of crisis. Watching the news yesterday he seemed so timid when discussing Putin – hopefully he will grow a backbone.

    July 22, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. king

    Here goes the repubs running around the corner again, shouting corporations are people too, then apears on the otherside, obama is raising too much money naaa na naaa naaa naaa

    July 22, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    rs
    Lynda/Minnesota

    “I don’t understand this president,” Sen. John McCain said on Fox Sunday. “The crisis on the border and he did the fundraisers, the fundraisers in New York while there are major major conflicts, not to mention the loss of American lives reported. I do not understand it.”

    Senator McGrumbles does the "Sunday" circuit talk shows ... again.
    ______________________
    AND, he and the GOP raise funds off of their own foolish sound bites.

    You know it. I know it. Mr. McGrumbles knows it. What truly amazes is that now having proven he's no longer the brightest bulb in GOPerville, why he insists on making a fool of himself time and again. He lost his Country First mantra the day he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. That alone ought to have disqualified ANY GOPer from continuing to endorse him and his weekly mcgrumbles.

    July 22, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Ol' Yeller
    This from the guy who wanted to suspend his campaign (for about 5 minutes, at which tme he realized how weak and indecisive that made him look)
    -----------------–
    Didn't he actually leave his campaign to go to Washington and "assist" in the crisis while then-candidate Obama stated that there should only be one President at a time?
    These people are jokes. And not funny ones at that Ol' Yeller.
    =================================================
    Yeah, that's the way that I remember it, too. McCain made a fool of himself for a LOT longer than five minutes. Obama refused to suspend his campaign and McCain fired back, to which Obama replied there is only one POTUS. That's when McCain's self flagellation climaxed with the emergency summit he called with the candidates and Pres. Bush. Unfortunately for McCain, it was televised. America watched him fidget the entire time, and contribute absolutely nothing.

    July 22, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. BoMo the clowns

    Well i thought queen hussein the fuitcake could rewrite the laws as suits him whenever he wants especially during elections. Remember its not a tax but then supreme court says its legal because its a tax. Obozo has even made the courts look like a bunch of wackos and the biggest idiot of all is Roberts for letting this entire joke train wreack disaster even begin. Obozo the queen doesnt follow any law, why should we? Everyone just say screw the laws obozo does so can we

    July 22, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    just asking

    isn't he on the payroll of the american people and supposed to be working for us and this country? looks like that job is just a part time dalliance for obama. calls in sick a lot. or more accurately president I-vote-present.
    ---------------------------
    Isn't John Boehner and the raucous caucus on the payroll of the American People and are supposed to be working for us, instead of signing oaths of allegiance to the likes of Grover Norquist. Isn't the current House going down in history as the worst "do-nothing" House in history by a wide margin? They've set records for the fewest bills passed into law, and the fewest days worked in a single calendar year.

    July 22, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Longtimer

    OBAMA – THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Longtimer

    OBAMA – THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Fund raising is the only thing he really seems to excel at so he never even bothers to stop during a crisis. Obama is out of his depth on so many things that it would be nice if he was at least engaged and actually attempted to do his job. He has given up.
    _________________________
    You clearly have no powers of observation, or prefer to parrot Fox and the other lunatic media outlet echo chamber noise. Clearly the President has been successful- note we haven't invaded the wrong country on his watch. We have no new wars. The economy? Doing well. hundreds of thousands of new jobs every month, unemployment below 2008, record corporate profits, growing GDP. Obamacare- very successful by any measure. All done without the GOP BTW. The very fact he is so successful fundraising means he is both popular and well supported. Something else that spoils your little rant. If the GOP lost its source of Koch, they'd be out of business by the end of the quarter.
    ++++++++++++
    Long term unemployment has increase 14% since Obama has been in office as much as they have tried to conceal it like they do everything else. Obamacare we could call a lot of things but successful is not one of them and it took a hit today. Democrats are good at raising money so he can do that anytime but its just an observation that he seems to like that more than anything else even in times of crisis. Watching the news yesterday he seemed so timid when discussing Putin – hopefully he will grow a backbone.
    _________________________
    Your reality is apparently different and fact-free. The GOP still did nothing after screaming "jobs, jobs, jobs" in '10,, not one bill mind you out of Congress. As to long-term unemployment- yeah, but that recession happened on Bush's watch- not this Presidents.
    Look, when your side decides to stop bench-warming and DO something we can talk. Meanwhile, Osama is gone, 11 million people have health care insurance, and in fact unemployment is down. And your side still does nothing but carp.
    You must be proud of that brand of patriotism!

    July 22, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    Wait... condoleeza rice was a woman? First I find out ann coulter is 'allegedly' a female (I still question this... how'd she get an Adam's apple then?) and now condi?

    Seriously though, condoleeza rice was not appointed because she was a woman, nor because she was black (though I'm sure that didn't hurt her) she was chosen because she agreed to be in on the neo con plan to lie to America in order to gain support for the invasion of iraq.... not because any of them seriously believed the WMD lies they were telling, just as an excuse to start a war in the middle east.
    Being black and a woman was just a bonus for bush because they like to trot out people like ben carson (makes me throw up in my mouth a little just listening to this bozo) and clarence thomas... to show they aren't racist. Show me an African American in the republicant party and 9999 out of 10,000 times it will be an African American who was raised in an affluent household and who was shielded from the racism by their wealth (or chose to ignore it because they knew the payoff) and not someone who 'pulled themselves up by their boot straps' (like President Obama did).
    The old... "I'm not racist... see, here's my (fill in the race) friend." It isn't how you feel about one or two people... it's how you treat ALL people.
    Most republicants never get that....

    July 22, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    The replacement of American flags with white flags, on the Brooklyn Bridge was done by Democrats.........demanding that conservatives surrender to the Democratic dictatorship in America.

    July 22, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. rs

    it must be said

    rs
    it must be said
    Right side of Democrat's mouth = Citizens United! Citizens United!! Citizens United!!! Going to destroy our country!!!
    Left side of Democrat's mouth = Millions! Tens of millions!! Hundreds of millions!!! BILLIONS! GIVE US BLLION$$$$!!!!
    At this point, I don't know why anybody believes a word that comes out of either side of their mouth.
    _________________________
    Only a fool takes a knife to a gun fight. If the GOP believes money=free speech and "corporations are people too", or that companies can have religious beliefs, to fight such an opponent- one needs money too. Obama and the Democrats are fighting the battle in the terrain the GOP created. get over it.
    -

    As usual your failed logic is obvious to all. Obama lied about taking public financing in 2008, long before the Citizens United decision. Then went on to raise records amount of money. Only to then complain about all the money in politics and how elections are being bought.

    You gotta give Obama credit, he can spew this stuff and keep a straight face. He is truly a master snake oil salesman, especially for the low IQ Democrat voters.
    _________________________
    What failed logic? The goal of reduced campaign spending is great- but only a fool takes only federal dollars when the Kochs offer up $150 million at a whack to drown the airwaves in dirty, untruthful campaign ads. No, sir, these are the politicians YOU want. Don't whine that the two parties aren't using two different sets of rules- especially that only benefits the hyper rich and the GOP.

    July 22, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Hector Slagg

    Wow,
    So many here living in Fantasy Land. If you are waiting for somebody else to fund your lifestyle you are going to be left with the short end of the stick. Hope you have a good retirement plan.

    July 22, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. denny

    I feel helpless. I call the White House comment line and send emails but every day there is another sign that our President doesn't really care about the United States and it's citizens. He goes to fundraiser after fundraiser and now a 10 day vacation is coming up while the country is in such turmoil. To me, he's exhibiting hostility to the hard-working, concerned, increasingly pessimistic people of our country. Besides voting, how can we the people get our country back on track?

    July 22, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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