In hometown to raise campaign cash, Obama targets Romney’s running mate
August 12th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
10 years ago

In hometown to raise campaign cash, Obama targets Romney’s running mate

Chicago (CNN) – President Barack Obama congratulated Paul Ryan Sunday for being selected as Mitt Romney's running mate, but cut short the plaudits to blast the Wisconsin congressman's economic proposals.

"I know him. I welcome him to the race," Obama said at a fund-raiser in Chicago. "Congressman Ryan is a decent man. He is a family man. He is an articulate spokesman for Gov. Romney's vision. But it's a vision that I fundamentally disagree with."

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In a statement on Saturday, Obama's campaign manager called Ryan's budget proposals - plans to shrink government through deep spending cuts and changes to entitlement programs, while protecting tax cuts for the rich - "radical". On Sunday the president tried to drive home the idea that the Romney-Ryan ticket would be bad for ordinary Americans.

"My opponent and Congressman Ryan and their allies in Congress, they all believe that if we just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and we give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans it will lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody else. That is what they are proposing," Obama said. "That is where they will take us if they win. This is not speculation. It's on their websites and embodied in the budget that the House Republicans voted for repeatedly."

Romney's campaign responded to the president in a statement Sunday, saying Obama was running a "fear and smear campaign."

"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan bring new ideas about creating jobs and controlling the budget. President Obama’s campaign has accused Mitt Romney of committing crimes and killing people, and now they are attacking Paul Ryan. They have lost all credibility," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams wrote.

Obama's remarks on Ryan came as he criss-crossed his hometown of Chicago Sunday for five events - including a high-dollar fundraiser at his house in Hyde Park - that have the potential to pull in millions for the Democratic incumbent's campaign, which has been outraised by rival Republicans for the past three months.

In total, an Obama campaign official said Sunday's fundraisers are expected to bring in an estimated $3.5 to $4 million, though the campaign said they will not release official totals.

Obama begins his day at a roundtable event in downtown Chicago, where supporters paid $40,000 per person to attend, according to a campaign official. From there Obama heads to a fund-raiser designed for younger supporters, each of whom will pay $51 to attend. That event takes place at the Bridgeport Arts Center, a collection of studio and gallery space south of Chicago's downtown.

Next is an event at Obama's home in Chicago's Hyde Park, where he'll deliver remarks at a campaign event. Sunday marks the first time Obama has opened his Chicago home for a campaign fund-raiser in his bid for re-election, and the event was billed as a birthday party for the president, who turned 51 last week.

Tickets to that fund-raiser cost $40,000 per person, but the campaign did run a contest offering a pair of tickets to the event for grassroots supporters.

"We'd like to give grassroots supporters an opportunity to join in the fun. You guys deserve it, and I know Barack would personally love to see you there," first lady Michelle Obama wrote in a fund-raising email. "Barack's birthday is one of the last opportunities he'll get for a little downtime before the final weeks of the election."

Obama then heads to two private residences for events. The first, at a home also in Hyde Park, cost $5,000 to attend, and the other - his final event for the day - cost $1,000 per ticket.

Like most of Obama's fund-raisers, money raised from Sunday's events will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

Romney's campaign, along with the Republican National Committee, raised $101.3 million in July, while Obama and the Democrats brought in $75 million. July marked the third month in a row in which the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee together were outraised by Republicans.

From Chicago, the president sets off on a three-day swing through Iowa, holding events in Council Bluffs, Boone, Oskaloosa, Marshalltown, Waterloo, Dubuque, and Davenport.

Polls show Iowa, where Obama won 54% of the vote in 2008, is a toss up this time around. The last poll taken in Iowa, an NBC News/Marist survey taken in May, showed Obama and Romney each polling at 44%.

Iowa is in many ways symbolic for the president. It's the state that launched his successful campaign for the Democratic nomination five years ago, breathing new life into what had been seen at the time as a long-shot bid for the Oval Office.

It has just 6 electoral votes, but it's a state the campaign is hoping to keep in the blue column in what is expected to be a close election.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Fundraising • Illinois • President Obama
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Howard

    The two faced obama, demonizes the one percenters, while picking their pockets, to further his personal ambitions. Unfortunantely, the focus on winning has replaced the really important qualities necessary for a leader ... like trust, honesty, and ethics. Obama and his corrupt stooges are , self serving low lifes, who are not worthy of holding public office.

    August 12, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Tuba Texas

    Romney's success for the past two months don't compare to all the months prior to being the Repuglican candidate when Team Obama was raking in two to three times more money than any one candidate runing for the Repuglican president calling. Now, obvioulsy, big business is contributing the max to get their tax breaks while the little people get stuck as usual with the tax bill. Team Obama contributions are coming from your average American tax payer...NOT BIG BUSINESS! So that says what we already knew, that Romney is the rich people and .BIG BUSINESS's man! So if you are not WHITE and RICH Romney is definitely not your man. Ryan seals the deal to screw the MIDDLE CLASS! And it is so Repuglican to sneak around and not trust anyone, much less their own kind!

    August 12, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    How much free air time is CNN going to give to Ryan. Obama is also speaking today, where is the coverage for Obama? This is more than "fair and balanced". Has CNN started to lean to the right?

    August 12, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Ditto

    Too much free air time for Romney and Ryan. Obama is also speaking today (Sunday). Is CNN leaning to the right?

    August 12, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. drake mallard

    Romney 'Worst Republican' to Face Obama

    Romney's campaign is based on the notion that because of what he did
    at Bain he understands the economy. It's perfectly reasonable to examine
    what his experience at Bain really taught him. After all, Bain wasn't
    in the business of creating jobs, it was in the business of making money

    The high unemployement is due to people like romney out sourcing that's why middle class Americans are suffering so much..

    Now we find out Mitt Romney has blo od on his hands in El Salvador.In
    addition to the de ath squad money he also took money from Michael

    August 12, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. d

    Anything is better than the Divider in Chief.

    August 12, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Ultra super mega rich Romney couldn’t say what he bought in the hardware store

    August 12, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. joe smith

    now back home, where the rubber meets the road..has anyone been able to explain the high cost of gas at the pump..we know these politicos are raking in the cash..but at whose expense..$3,65/gallon is NOT in the interest of the working man/woman..

    August 12, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    Obama is looking to find woman on medicare that Romney killed to feature in his next ad.Does not need to be the truth just make the statement.

    August 12, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. edog


    The two faced obama, demonizes the one percenters, while picking their pockets, to further his personal ambitions. Unfortunantely, the focus on winning has replaced the really important qualities necessary for a leader ... like trust, honesty, and ethics. Obama and his corrupt stooges are , self serving low lifes, who are not worthy of holding public office.

    Hey Howard! Wouldn't you consider this as being a "LEADER" by not pandering to the 1%. Saying, I want to make if fair for the middle class and I will tax you more, however I believe in an America where the income disparity is not balanced enough. I see it as leadership and not pandering.

    August 12, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. will never vote Republician again

    Romney just slit his own throat bringing Mr. Hate onto his ticket. These two are all greed and No compassion! The Catholic Bishops came out months ago against the Ryan plan! Wake up People!

    August 12, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. joyce

    I agree with other posters. Obama should get air time speaking today. The new will wear off shortly and we won't hear so much about Romney-Ryan.
    I can't wait for them to have debates with Obama and Biden.

    August 12, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. D David Vang

    The republican never learned their lessons how to beat President Obama in the general election . It is a deja vu to see Romney picked a loser like John Mcain . I am really glad to know that President Obama will be elected to serve another 4 more years .

    August 12, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Sue

    Hmmmmm.......Obama is supposed to raise $3-$4 million today? Romney raised that in a little over 24 hours--right after he announced that Paul Ryan would be the VP running mate. Oh....and Romney/Ryan will be on 60 Minutes tonight-7pm EST...I know that millions will be watching!!

    August 12, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Bill Davis

    As crocked as Chicago is Obama should feel at home and welcome.

    August 12, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Bren

    I know that I cannot wait for the debates as well......Obama having to answer questions and defend his disasterous
    3-1/2 year record-without his preloaded, memorized, teleprompter responses....."the private sector is doing fine", "you didn't build that", "57 states", "navy corpse-men"-–I know that I cannot wait!! I already have my DVR set.

    August 12, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Dee

    awesome! Lets Go Mr. President! we can't let the GOP steal this election like in 2000!

    August 12, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. noldaker

    He's probably selling the house –kniws he's moving in January and this house isn't big enough.

    August 12, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |