Reporting Susanna Song
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CHICAGO (CBS) — President Barack Obama is still behind Republican opponent Mitt Romney when it comes to filling his war chest with campaign cash.
So Obama heads to Iowa and Nebraska Monday, after spending the weekend fundraising in his hometown of Chicago.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, President Obama will wake up in his Kenwood neighborhood home Monday morning with fundraising on his mind. Even after a lucrative weekend in Chicago, he is not done.
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CBS 2’s camera caught him taking a stroll in his neighborhood. He took some time to say hello to neighbors.
The president looked relaxed, with his jacked slung over his shoulder.
On Sunday, Obama he attended five fundraisers in the Chicago area, raising between $3.5 million and $4 million. Romney has out-fundraised Obama in the past three months.
The biggest event that President Obama attended Sunday was at the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St. He talked for 25 minutes about jobs, protecting the middle class, and the economy.
“Unless your cable is broken, you probably also know we’ve got a pretty intense campaign going on right now,” Obama said. “Chicago, we’ve got a long way to go.
At the fundraiser, Obama asked Americans to look at his record and make the choice to move forward, and not backward, on Election Day Nov. 6. Among the policy changes he pointed out was the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, under which gays and lesbians were not allowed to serve openly in the military.
“We did the right thing to end ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Obama said. “We’re not going back. We’re going forward.”
The same, Obama says, is true of his 2008 campaign promise on health care reform. In addressing that issue, he also spoke in defense of allowing women greater access to birth control.
“I think it was the right thing to do to make sure the folks without preexisting conditions are able to get health insurance,” Obama said. “I think it’s the right thing to do for everybody to be able to get preventive care, including women who can have some control over their own health care decisions.”
Also at the fundraiser, Obama talked about U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Romney’s newly-picked running mate. He called Ryan a decent family man and welcomed him to the race, but criticized Ryan’s vision for the country, according to an Associated Press report.
Obama says Ryan – a devotee of the economic theory of Ayn Rand – is wrong in believing that cutting regulations and tax breaks for the wealthy will create more jobs, the Associated Press reported.
“This kind of top-down economics is central to Governor Romney, and it is central to his running mate,” Obama said. They have tried to sell us this trickle-down fairy dust before, and guess what. It did not work.”
The Bridgeport Art Center fundraiser only cost $51 per person to get in, and was aimed at a younger crowd. Two other fundraisers Sunday charged $40,000 per person.
Obama leaves Chicago to continue his fundraising tour on Monday morning.