White House Says Obama Focused on Governing Not Campaigning

Jan 20, 2012 4:38pm

A little more than an hour after White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters today that President Obama is spending a “relatively small amount of time” campaigning, Obama met with a small group a few blocks from the White House to raise campaign money.

The president’s “small” fundraiser was at a hotel with 20 people, according to the White House. No cameras were allowed, with the Deputy Press Secretary Jamie Smith saying, “Today, the president is hosting a round-table discussion with a small group of people to benefit his campaign.”

But because the president was not making any “formal remarks,” reporters were not allowed to enter. Democratic officials suggested that the cost of admission for the 20 people will mean more than $700,000 for the Obama and Democratic campaigns.

The president has attended six fundraisers in the past week, raking in at least $5 million. In addition to today’s, one other event was closed to the media.

But Carney said it is a “factual conclusion” that the president is focused on governing versus campaigning. Campaigning, Carney said, “as a portion of his time, it is still relatively small, and that’s in part because he has no primary contests.”

Since the beginning of the year – 20 days – the president has taken part in 11 fundraisers.

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