Obama rallies for Sen. Bennet at Colo. fundraiser
By Michael D. Shear
DENVER -- President Obama fired up a crowd of Democrats at a fundraiser for Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, speaking to a crowd of several hundred who cheered "Yes he can!" as he entered the hall.
The president focused his remarks on efforts to revive the economy, saying that he and Bennet "are going to keep doing everything in our power to turn this economy around" for people who are hurting.
"Until they begin to feel recovery in their own lives, we are going to keep on working," Obama told the crowd.
As he has repeatedly in recent days, Obama defended the Recovery Act which he pushed through Congress a year ago, saying that its passage helped to avert an economic catastrophe.
"We can stand here today and say that a second depression is no longer a possibility," he said. "There are about two million Americans who are at work today who would otherwise be unemployed."
Bennet introduced Obama as someone who "happens to live in Washington D.C." but is a tireless advocate for people in Colorado. Bennet's campaign said 2,700 people attended the event, and that the two fundraising events it held Thursday with Obama were expected to raise between $650,000 and $700,000.
Obama will have to be a tireless advocate for Bennet if the senator is to win his first full term in the U.S. Senate. Bennet is facing a primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. And polls suggest the political environment for Democrats in Colorado is increasingly tough.
Obama, however, has been unequivocal in his support for Bennet. At the fundraiser, he joked that "some of you may support him just because he's got an adorable family." But he urged Democrats to support Bennet for a full term in Congress.
"Lemme testify about this guy," Obama said. "He's been an agent of change in these parts for a very long time.... He's been a tremendous ally for middle class families, not just in this state, but all across the country."
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the economic concerns in Colorado and across the country are making for tough political conditions everywhere.
"In a presidential year, they are very competitive states, as they were just two years ago," Gibbs said aboard Air Force One on the way to Colorado. "The political landscape -- not just in these two states but throughout the country -- continues to be dominated by concern about the economy, not surprisingly."
Asked whether Obama is picking sides in a Democratic primary, Gibbs said, "We're supporting incumbent U.S. senators."
Web Politics Editor
February 18, 2010; 6:52 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , The Green Zone
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