In Miami Beach, Obama Fundraises for Sen. Bill Nelson

By MichaelJames

Mar 4, 2011 10:41pm

ABC News' Erin Keohane reports:

As the budget battle wages in Washington, President Obama tonight told Democratic supporters that he will not cut back on certain spending.

“I am willing to cut whatever spending we can’t afford,” Obama said at a fundraiser held at the famed Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla.

He promised that he would not ignore the deficit and stressed that he would not shortchange education.

“I'm not willing to cut back on education," he said. "I'm not willing to cut back on sciences and technology and innovation. We need those things to win the future."

After spending the afternoon at a Miami High School, the president attended two Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraisers for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. — the first at the Fontainebleau, where guests paid $100 to attend, the second at the private residence of Miami realtor Michael Adler, CEO of Adler Group.

At the first event, the president related the current deficit and spending woes he faces to funding problems that plagued his “favorite Republican,” Abraham Lincoln.

“He's a guy who invested in the intercontinental railroad and in land grant colleges and in the National Academy of Sciences in the middle of the Civil War," President Obama said. "That's how important he thought these investments were.”

Obama had fun with the crowd too, saying of his quick day trip to Miami: “I wish I could stay, but if Michelle found out that I stayed in Miami and didn't bring her along, I'd be in trouble.”

Among people Obama referred to as “friends” at tonight’s second event, he discussed the unrest in countries such as Libya and Egypt, saying, “What’s happening in the Middle East, it is a manifestation of new technologies, the winds of freedom that are blowing through countries that have not felt those winds in decades, a whole new generation that says, 'I want to be a part of this world.'”

 - Erin Keohane

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