ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:
The single biggest threat to the Democrats' success in the midterm elections is complacency, not the Republican party challengers, President Obama said at a fundraiser this evening in New York City that raised $1.4 million for House and Senate Democratic candidates.
“The single biggest threat to our success is not the other party,” the president said at the Roosevelt Hotel. “It’s us. It’s complacency. It’s apathy. It’s indifference. It’s people feeling like, well, we only got 80 percent of what we want, we didn't get the other 20, so we’re just going to sit on our hands. We’re not going to go out there. It turns out bringing about change is hard. I thought it was going to be easy. I liked the cute poster of the Obama campaign. I enjoyed the inauguration. It was great when Beyonce and Bono was singing. I didn’t know that we were actually going to have to grind it out, that sometimes we’d have setbacks.”
The president said the Democratic Party will fall backwards if it doesn't get mobilized, because the other side is so energized.
On Thursday morning, House Republicans will unveil “The Pledge to America,” outlining a “governing agenda” for Republicans as they try to regain control of the House. The president tonight mocked their proposal in advance, casting it as more of the same.
“Make no mistake: The Republicans running for Congress, they want the next two years to look like the eight years before I took office," he said. "They might be announcing some new details tomorrow — but the chair of one of their campaign committees already told us their intentions. He said that if the other party takes control of Congress, they plan to pursue — and I’m quoting here — the 'exact same agenda' as they did during the last administration. The exact same agenda.”
The president said the Democratic Party can’t give up and can’t lose heart in the final weeks before the elections.
“We need your energy and enthusiasm — the energy and enthusiasm of everybody in this room and everybody you can reach,” he said.
On several occasions, the president was interrupted by protesters, one woman yelling about increasing AIDS funding and another about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military.
“As president, I have said we’re going to reverse it. I got the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I got the secretary of defense to say that we’re going to reverse it,” Obama said, deviating from his remarks. “Think about what happened in Congress two days ago where you got 56 Democrats voting to debate this issue and zero Republicans. And as a consequence, some of those signs should be going up at the other folks’ events. And folks should be hollering at the other folks’ events because the choice in November could not be clearer.”