From Jon Garcia and Yunji de Nies:
Before President Barack Obama began touting the political bonafides of Michael Bennet – at a fundraiser for Bennet – he made sure to mention that his year old stimulus stopped a second depression.
“One year later, thanks largely to the Recovery Act, we can stand here again and say that a second depression is no longer a possibility,” Obama said, adding all the statistics about job growth (“about 2 million”) and economic growth (“nearly 6%”).
Obama then launched into his usual laundry list of all the things he says his administration did in its first year to pull the country out of the economic downturn: extending unemployment insurance, cutting taxes for first time home buyers, making COBRA health care cheaper, and keeping police and fire personnel employed by giving more money to the states.
As for Bennet, Obama said "politics-as-usual" still pervades Washington and electing Bennet will help change that. “Politics as usual. We’ve become accustomed to it, become numb to it. We’re just accustomed to all sorts of exaggerations and slash and burn politics. But Michael and I, we don’t have time for that nonsense,” he said.
Obama called Bennet “an agent of change for some time” adding that Bennet has never cut a tv commercial nor mastered the art of the soundbite.
For his part, Bennet, in his introduction of Obama, said he wanted to ban all former legislators from becoming lobbyists, curb legislator health care and pay until the economy is on better footing, and reform everything from health care insurance to how wall street does business.
“Washington needs a big dose of Colorado common sense,” Bennet said, before a mostly standing crowd of 2700 on the floor of Denver’s historic rock venue The Fillmore auditorium.
After the rally, Obama continued his push for Bennet at a smaller, more expensive, reception at a downtown hotel. Obama told that crowd to raise more money for Bennet than they did for him during his campaign –make more calls and “tweet” on twitter for Bennet’s campaign.
Bennet is running to continue in the seat to which he was appointed last year when Obama tapped then-Colorado Senator Ken Salazar to become Secretary of the interior.
Bennet is facing a primary challenge from former Colorado house speaker Andrew Romanoff. Romanoff is not too happy with Obama for endorsing in the primary, but Bennet’s campaign pushes back, saying Obama had supported Bennet long before Romanoff got in the race. “He knew what he was getting into when he decided to run,” a Bennet campaign spokesperson said of Romanoff.
The campaign didn't have final numbers for their take but a spokesperson said rally tickets cost $25-$250 per person. Access to the smaller reception went for $1000–and even higher for a chance to get a picture with the president.