EVERETT, Wash. - President Obama is using a new label to describe himself in making the case for a second term: chauvinist.
"I'm a chauvinist," Obama told a crowd of 450 supporters who each paid $1,000 or more for a reception at a Bellevue, Wash., hotel.
"I want America to have the best stuff. I don't want to go to China and see their airports better than ours, or go to Europe and see their railroads faster than ours," he said.
To bankroll the "best stuff," Obama says he will continue to ask wealthier Americans, especially millionaires and billionaires, to "pay their fair share."
"For all of us to succeed, we have to have an investment in each other's success," he explained later.
The remarks came during the eighth and final fundraiser of his three-day West Coast swing that raised more than $8 million for the 2012 campaign. Obama's fundraisers on Friday alone netted a total of more than $1.6 million.
Earlier today he had lunch with 65 donors in Medina, Wash., at the contemporary, lakeside home of Costco co-founder and chairman Jeff Brotman. Microsoft's Bill Gates, who lives in the neighborhood, was also spotted in attendance by the press pool.
"Now this election is not going to be as sexy as 2008. My hair is grayer. I've got a little dings and bruises, although you're right, I can still sing," he said, referring to moment when he sang an Al Green tune at a fundraiser in Harlem last month.
"But I have to tell you, the stakes are so much higher than in 2008," he said. "We're going to have to work harder this time than we did last time. "
The Obama campaign reported Friday to the Federal Election Commission that it raised $11.8 million in January - or roughly one-third the amount it raised in the same month four years ago.
It's also the first time the president has fallen behind his previous pace, according to the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, which closely tracks the data.