Tuesday June 26, 2012

BOSTON (AP) -- Tapping wealthy supporters in the state where his Republican challenger Mitt Romney served as governor, Presi dent Barack Obama kicked off his most recent Massa chusetts fundraising campaign with events throughout the Boston-area.

After stopping in New Hampshire to rally supporters, the commander in chief swung by the Bay State Monday to raise money for his re-election bid and fellow Democrats.

Speaking before 1,800 supporters at Boston’s Sym phony Hall, the president touched on his position on health care, Wall Street reform and affordable higher education. He told supporters the upcoming election would be their chance to break the stalemate in Congress and to help finish what he started in 2008. Seat prices for the event ranged from $250 to $2,500.

"I’m not just here because I need your help, I’m here because the country needs your help," he told fellow Democrats.

The president also took his speech as an opportunity to recognize Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a close friend who earlier this year was named a co-chairman of Obama’s election campaign.

Although his comments were met with overwhelming ap plause throughout his speech, Obama hit one sour note with Massachusetts supporters, when he jokingly thanked Boston for veteran Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis, who was recently traded to the Chicago White Sox.


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Obama also took his speech as an opportunity to attack so-called Republican trickle-down economic theories that invest in corporations, saying these policies would lead the country into a deeper recession.

"If we want to try the same policies we just implemented in the last decade that did not work, those folks should vote for Mr. Romney," the president said.

Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren, who introduced the president, also took shots at Romney’s record and positions.

"Mitt Romney tells us in his own words that he believes corporations are people. No Mitt," she said. "Corporations are not people."

Warren praised Obama’s accomplishments in Washington, specifically his crackdown on Wall Street. She also spoke in favor of his positions that aim to create jobs and lower the costs of higher education. She is running against Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

Obama lent his support to Warren, as well, telling fellow members of his party that he believes she will make an "outstanding senator."

In 2010, Obama made a last-ditch effort at an event at Boston’s Northeastern Univ ersity to rally support for Democrat Martha Coakley, who was running against Brown for the Congressional seat held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. Despite the effort, Coakley lost the election.

Prior to speaking at Sym phony Hall, Obama attended a $40,000 a plate dinner with 25 supporters at Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston’s South End.

He will finish Monday at a fundraising event at a private home in Weston with tickets costing $17,900 per person and $35,800 per couple.

Money from the events will go to a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

The president has pulled in more than $7.7 million in campaign contributions as of the end of the month.

Etta Goodstein, a Demo cratic grass-roots activist and goldsmith from West Dennis who attended the Symphony Hall event, said while she believes Warren and Obama will win their 2012 elections, she expressed concerns about Romney.

"There’s always worry. You cannot take anything for granted," she said.

Obama easily won the highly-Democratic Massachusetts in 2008 and is leading the state by double digits in one recent poll, despite Romney’s ties.