March 17th, 2012
11:51 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama swings through Atlanta to campaign, raise cash

Atlanta (CNN) - At a campaign event in Atlanta Friday night, President Barack Obama told supporters that the country needs them.

"I'm here today not only because I need your help, I'm here today because the country needs your help," Obama said at a gala fundraising reception hosted by the Obama for America African American Leadership Council.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The event was held at Tyler Perry Studios. Perry, a television and film producer and actor, introduced the president to the crowd of almost 1,000 guests, saying that while he always had an active imagination as a child, he never imaged he would have the chance to introduce the President of the United States.

The reception was one of three fundraising events in Atlanta for the President on Friday. The other two were held at a private residence and at Perry's home. Prior to his appearances in Atlanta, the president campaigned in Chicago.

"There were a lot of reasons why so many of you decided to get involved and then work your hearts out in the campaign in 2008," Obama said. "You joined because of your commitment to each other and a vision that we share about America."

Obama encouraged the crowd to do the same this election cycle, saying in the three years he has been in office the country has started to see change. The president cited the auto industry bailout, the equal pay law signed in 2009, attacking the cycle of poverty, and the health care overhaul.

"You want to call it 'Obamacare', that's okay, because I do care. That's why we passed it, because I care about folks who were going bankrupt because they were getting sick," Obama said.

Without naming any Republican presidential candidates by name, the president did mildly attack the opposition when he said the "folks" running for president want to roll back the laws of his administration and promote policies where everyone was must fend for themselves - a plan he said doesn't work.

"This is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time," Obama said. "What are we going to do to make sure that middle class families are secure and that we continue to build ladders for people who are trying to get to the middle class."

Obama said the economy is getting stronger and the country is on the right track, but he warned that "what we can't do is go back to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place."

The president got a laugh from the crowd when he compared politics to a "bad reality show" with all the arguing and fussing, but then said the spirit of wanting to make the country better and the spirit that put him in office in 2008 still exists.

"I'm a little grayer now," Obama said. "I've got some bumps and bruises. I know that over the last three years there have been times where we've suffered setbacks and change hasn't come as fast as we would have liked. And people still got their old 'Hope' posters. It's fading a bit, but I told you then that change is not going to come quickly and that change is hard."

The president said he has kept his promise of trying to make lives of Americans a little bit better and then rallied the crowd to get back to organizing, emailing and knocking on doors to help the campaign as it heads to November.

"If you feel the same energy and determination as I do, and I feel it more know that I ever felt it in my life, then I promise you we will finish what we started," Obama declared.

After the reception, the president went to Perry's home for a private event. People gathered outside of the compound gate cheered, but few were waving Romney signs.

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    "This is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time," Obama said. "What are we going to do to make sure that middle class families are secure and that we continue to build ladders for people who are trying to get to the middle class."
    There's nothing secure about signing in a poorly crafted single-party program as huge and far-reaching as ObamaCare by using trick political maneuvers like Reconciliation because the majority even in DC would not support it. Here is a fact. Obama went on Prime time TV what, 3 times to fight for ObamaCare? And what do we know today? It has resulted immediately in faster rising insurance rates. It will cost twice as much as originally presented even after some of the benefits of it have been taken back. It was a worse-than-typical Washington political folly. It is a financial and health care disaster perpetrated on the nation by a rookie administration. It needs to go. He needs to go. Romney 2012!

    March 17, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Jan930

    President Obama will go down in history as one of the best presidents this country has ever had. He makes me proud to be an American. President Obama -2012

    March 17, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. WireweirdinSF

    As I filled my gas tank this morning, bought my groceries and headed to my 7th consecutive day of work, I thought about the most incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady president we have ever had and had very, very negative thoughts. And then I thought about January 1, 2013 when all of these new taxes and fees kick in and I got increasingly madder. And as I am listening to the radio I am hear about this liberal FoxConn scam being exposed after the NY Times and the other liberal media published it as true and I really got angry and wondered what union or group of unions (all Obozo supporters are behind it, lying to us using their bought and paid for liberal media. We have got to get rid of this Kenyan village idiot and the lying, corrupt, drug addicted. thuggy welfare frauds he so represents.

    March 17, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    "I'm a little grayer now," Obama said. "I've got some bumps and bruises. I know that over the last three years there have been times where we've suffered setbacks and change hasn't come as fast as we would have liked.
    It's not about the politician, Mr. president. It's about the nation. And the nation is bumped and bruised and has had plenty of setbacks over the past 3 years. Unemployment went through the roof. Debt went to levels that even make Americans gasp. But you have no plan forward. You're stuck on Plan A which didn't work even funded to the tune of $6 trillion in new debt and pushed forward ferociously by a Democratic House and a filibuster-proof Senate for 2 years. You had 110% support. And where are we now? Bumped and bruised with very little to show for it. We can do better. Romney 2012!

    March 17, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. diridi

    Folks, Please watch on Youtube, type the road we have travelled, and also watch type, when mitt romney cam to town....All I request to save our nation and vote for Obama....God bless him, Obama, I shall campaign for you and vote for you....God bless again Obama, and the USA!

    March 17, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. MaryM

    President Obama will be re-elected in Nov 2012

    March 17, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. wt

    Since he's mostly assured he's going to be reelected, why doesn't Obama raise money for Americans who need help with homes and jobs? He won't need all that money for his campaign. Unless he's paying people for votes. You'd think a president with the power to raise money would do some thing good for our country with those funds. There are plenty of hard working deserving americans who need financial help right now.

    March 17, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Myviewis

    Why is it always Hollywood celebrities involved? When will we see a gala fundraising held by middle class citizens? How come he doesn't go to the private home of middle class workers for a get together? Why doesn't he eat at a lower income citizen's home? It's always this obsession with the Hollywood elite.

    March 17, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    While the president worked to get us pout of the Bush/republican near depression, republicans made an ugly situation worse in order to hurt Americans more.

    March 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    While some republicans may not be mental midgets, a lot of their followers are.

    March 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Myviewis

    It's not like Tyler Perry is not an extremely, very rich man. I realize he comes from a broken home but he also did at age 22 in 1992 have $12,000 in savings to finance his own play. What person in 1992 at age 22 could have saved $12,000? Perry does not represent the working lower income or working middle income. So what gives?

    March 17, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Dan J

    Obama is going to raise a billion dollars easily. And it will mostly come from small donors. And most of that money will go to media corporations. The 1%. A billion dollars. This is all thanks to Obama being the first president to be funded through private donations in 2008. This is a problem that he, and only he created.

    March 17, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Jay Dee

    He no longer only has community organizing as a part of his resume`. He has been president the last four years if you haven't noticed, and he has created millions of jobs, much to the dismay of the republicans.

    March 17, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. WiredweirdinSF

    Note that the New York Times and other liberally biased media did not retract the FoxConn story and that none of them is investigating the corrupt unions that paid the author to do it. Wouldn't look good for Obama you know, since all of the corrupt union thugs have such free access to the White House. Not exactly free, they bring piles of cash while them and Media Matters tell us they will be watching the corporations for wrongdoing. You just cannoth make up these stories about the hypocritical, corrupt democrat liberals. You have to really wonder what other corrution and lies are being hidden from us by the liberally biased media.

    March 17, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. george of the jungle

    Obama / Biden 2012

    March 17, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. On the road again....

    Nothing to do in Washington...on the campaign trail.....

    March 17, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |