President Barack Obama told a gathering of Wall Street donors that Democrats can’t unilaterally stop accepting money from big-dollar political- action committees, according to two people at the event.
Obama told about 80 donors at a fundraising dinner in New York yesterday that he didn’t want to run for re-election at a disadvantage to Republicans, according to the people, who described the president’s comments on condition of anonymity because the event was private.
Obama was holding his first fundraiser targeting the financial services industry since he asked Congress in his 2013 budget to increase taxes on the wealthy and impose $61 billion in new fees on banks. He told attendees at the $35,800-a-plate fundraiser that he is aware his administration has lost some of its popularity among bankers and hedge fund managers.
“So many people in this room were active in 2008,” the president said before reporters were ushered out of the event. “So many of you have had to defend me from your co-workers over the last three years.” The remark drew laughter from the audience.
Obama’s remarks on political funding follow his campaign’s decision last month to reverse course and encourage top donors to contribute to the independent political-action committees, known as super-PACs, backing his re-election.
Hans Nichols, Bloomberg, March 2, 2012