July 22nd, 2014
08:31 AM ET
9 years 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.

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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.

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Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Ol' Yeller
    and not someone who 'pulled themselves up by their boot straps' (like President Obama did).
    You're right for the most part, even though the exception appears to have been Colin Powell...who soon (albeit a bit too late) realized what a bunch of knuckleheads he was dealing with and reporting to, opened his eyes and promptly and publicly endorsed then-candidate to their ever-loving shame.
    Aaah good times, good times those were.

    July 22, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Dems in PA

    No big deal; president Obama is a failure at everything else besides his fundraising and reading a speech of the teleprompter.

    July 22, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Tom l

    Typical Rudy lying about what I said. Where did I say "tax cut"? Do you ever tire? G'day after day after day after day after day. And now you are more belligerent and judgmental than ever. You must be worried because it is noticeable your change in "tactics" over the past week with your accusations towards me and smith and anyone who doesn't subscribe 100% to the liberal viewpoint. Do you ever get tired? Day in day out.

    July 22, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Correction: Should've written "publicly endorsed then-candidate Obama to their ever-loving shame".

    July 22, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. DRJJ

    We're more divided than ever as a country, more in debt and have talked more about private sx lives than public debt or any other priority! We should pay for results only.

    July 22, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sniffit says:
    July 22, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm
    “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.

    Amen to this this rebuttal by my man Sniffitt!!! We see right through you GOP. And btw so does Colin Powell now.

    July 22, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. yolanda

    @Sniffit, your race card is worn out. Colin Powell and Con Rice tokens, eh? Other minorities/women in GWB cabinet(s) include: Alphonzo Jackson (HUD), Gale Norton (Interior), Ann Veneman( Agriculture), Carlos Gutierez (Commerce), Elaine Chao(Labor), Mel Martinez (HUD), Mary Peters(Transportation), Margaret Spellings(Education),and last (appropriately) Albero Gonzalez (Atty. Gen.) If you're going to call anyone who disagrees with you "tinfoil hats", junior, etc., at least know what you're talking about. Yet again, you're simply trying to lord over this (pathetic) little domain of yours.
    And no. I am not a Bush fan, but you are such a raging hater of all things right of Abby Hoffman as to be comical.

    July 22, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Rudy NYC
    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
    Yes indeed, yes indeed.
    I'd quite forgotten that part Rudy!
    Menopause. Tsk.

    July 22, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. What evs

    I don't care if you are a repub or a dem, the taxpayer should not have to foot the bill for a President to campaign for their party. Shrub did it, Clinton did it and all previous President's did it but it is a terrible policy. This policy should change right after the current President's term ends and a new President is elected going forward.

    July 22, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Tone

    Can anyone of you right wingers on this board tell me why you hate my King Obama so much?

    July 22, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Longtimer

    Tom l

    Typical Rudy lying about what I said. Where did I say "tax cut"?
    I did see something with "Flat Tax" on it- which once again represents a "Tax cut" for the obscenely rich...

    July 22, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. #get.to.work.obama

    400 Obama campaign fund raisers and counting, hundreds of golf outings, numerous vacations, thousands of campaign rally type speeches, Hollywood celebrity events at the White House and in California, numerous celebrity TV interviews, late night talk shows, and now all the excursions to restaurants and hamburger joints.

    It is such a good thing Obama doesn't have a demanding job.


    July 22, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. #sniffin.racists.everywhere

    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?

    yaaaawwwwnnnnnnn...... ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz Wake me when you have something new to say. This garbage is just getting soooooo oooollllddddd. Like Hillary Clinton.

    July 22, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Tom l

    Typical Rudy lying about what I said. Where did I say "tax cut"? Do you ever tire? G'day after day after day after day after day. And now you are more belligerent and judgmental than ever. You must be worried because it is noticeable your change in "tactics" over the past week with your accusations towards me and smith and anyone who doesn't subscribe 100% to the liberal viewpoint. Do you ever get tired? Day in day out.
    Typical of "Tom" to read something that isn't there? I told a joke. It was not a quote. That's all. I keep saying that humor is lost on the right wing. You folks are *way* too serious, and thin skinned to boot. I'm calling it paranoia. You always think that someone is attacking you. You're sounding just as stupid as your other half, smith, was yesterday.

    i reserve being judgmental for you and yours, "Tom." If you don't like it, you never should have dished it out in the first place. Sorry, "tom", but you and "smith" are too peas in a pod. There just cannot possibly be two people who think so foolishly alike. You two are echoes of one another. Help us all, if there really are two of you.

    July 22, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |


    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!

    Your just used to absorbing government data that is tainted by the rest of the lying leftists. Lone term unemployment has gotten worse under your deity's watch. Health Insurance? He promised OBAMACARE would reduce costs by $2500 a family and it has sky rocketed ever since. As far as my brand of patriotism this is baby stuff compared to what is said about anyone that differs from a liberal opinion.

    July 22, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. somebody

    Ol' Yeller

    .... they still choose to watch it because it comforts them to be lied to because faux tells them what they want to hear....

    You just explained the reason the Faux News and other right wing propaganda is so effective. They're telling their viewers/listeners exactly what they want to hear. Truth doesn't matter.

    July 22, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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