President Obama today traveled to the “left coast,” as his reelection campaign reaches out to deep-pocketed liberal donors and tries to show off its fundraising prowess before the Sept. 30 third quarter reporting deadline.
The president was scheduled to attend seven events in Washington and California that could raise $20 million or more for his reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee’s joint fundraising account.
Speaking at Seattle fundraiser at the Paramount Theater attended by 1,700 guests, Obama asked donors to stay with him and not get discouraged by what may seem like slow progress improving the country.
“Every bit of progress that has been worth making has been a struggle,” he said. “So I need you guys to shake off any doldrums. I need you to decide right here and right now. And I need you to talk to your friends, and your neighbors, and co-workers, and you can tell them, ‘You know what? We’re not finished yet. We’ve got more work to do.’”
The president didn’t miss the chance to urge Congress to pass his $447 billion jobs bill.
“Don’t just talk about helping America’s jobs creators, how about helping them by getting this bill passed right away,” he said.
He pushed his Warren Buffett Rule, which would require wealthy Americans to pay the same tax rate as the middle class.
“If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rates as a plumber makes me a warrior for the middle class, I’ll wear that with a badge of honor,” said Obama
NBA legends Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens introduced the president. Russell, who played on 11 NBA championship teams during his career, and Wilkens, who is the second winningest coach in NBA history, made the case that Obama too is a winner.
Guests paid between $100 and $7,500. The big $7,500 contribution got guests a photo with the president.
The president’s first stop was in the Medina, Wash., with a visit to the home of former Microsoft COO Jon Shirley. About 65 guests attended the private brunch. Each couple paid $35,800. The first $5,000 of an individual’s contribution will go to the Obama campaign and the other $30,800 goes to the Democratic National Committee.
The president was scheduled to attend two fundraisers in Silicon Valley Sunday night. On Monday, Obama was scheduled to attend three more fundraisers in California before traveling to the Denver area on Tuesday for a White House event on jobs.
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.