President Obama told a star-studded Hollywood crowd Monday night that the 2012 campaign will be a test of character, and that he’ll win on those grounds in a matchup with the GOP.
“I urge all of you to watch some of these Republican debates,” Obama said at a fundraiser at Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place, where guests paid $17,900 a plate.
“There’s a different vision about who we are and what we stand for. And I think the American people want a big, optimistic, bold, generous vision of America, not a cramped vision that says, ‘You’re on your own,’” he said.
The president tried to buck up his supporters, acknowledging a dip in enthusiasm for him but insisting the months ahead will be a test.
“We’re in Hollywood right now, so think about the movies, the arc of the story,” he said. “If things were just smooth the whole way through, not only is it a pretty dull movie but it doesn’t reflect our experience. It doesn’t reflect life.
“Character is tested when things are hard. This country is being tested, but I have complete faith in its character. That’s what this election is about. And if you’re willing to fight with me for that, then I’m confident we’re going to come out on the other side doing just fine.”
Among the crowd were actors Jamie Foxx, Jack Black and Danny Devito, actresses Rhea Perlman and Eva Longoria, producer Aaron Sorkin, director Judd Apatow and California Gov. Jerry Brown.
The event, hosted by DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, was Obama’s seventh and final fundraiser of his West Coast swing. It was expected to raise more than $1.7 million for the Obama campaign.