President Barack Obama visits San Diego

BLOG ON THE PRESIDENT'S VISIT | PHOTO GALLERY


President Barack Obama arrived in San Diego Thursday to attend a political fundraiser at the La Jolla home of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs.

He greeted Marines and shook hands with members of their families, posed for photographs and spoke to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer upon arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar aboard Air Force One.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to join Obama at the $10,000-per-person lunchtime fundraiser in La Jolla to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Donors who pony up $32,400 -- the maximum amount that can be given to a party committee in a calendar year under federal law -- get invited to a VIP reception with a chance to have a photo taken with the nation's chief executive.

Jacobs, whose estimated net worth is $1.6 billion, was one of the top five financial supporters of Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. He stepped down as chairman of Qualcomm -- the mobile chip maker -- five years ago.

The Obama administration announced new proposals this week designed to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants, among the top wishes of high-tech companies like Qualcomm. The new regulations would remove obstacles to the immigrants remaining in this country and extend employment authorization to
their spouses.

Several groups held rallies just down the street from the Jacobs estate, some wanting the president to be impeached, others opposing the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, and an environmental group that wants to stop construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

San Diego 350 contends the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas for refining, would increase greenhouse gas emissions and worsen the impacts of climate change.

"He's in California for three fundraisers over a couple of days and every place he's going to go, he's going to see we don't want the Keystone pipeline," Masada Disenhouse of San Diego 350 told 10News. "We want you to take leadership on climate change and I think, collectively, he will get that message."

Obama has delayed a decision on whether to approve the pipeline project for several months.

The La Jolla fundraiser is the second of Obama's four fundraisers in three metropolitan areas on Thursday.

Obama began his day by presiding over what The Hollywood Reporter described as an intimate "roundtable" discussion in Beverly Hills to benefit the Democratic National Committee.

From San Diego, Obama will fly aboard Air Force One to San Jose, where he will participate in two fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee.

POOL REPORT ON THE EVENT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

The President attended a luncheon fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the La Jolla home of Joan and Irwin Jacobs. Roughly 65 people attended the event, including Nancy Pelosi.

Tickets ranged from $10,000 a person to $32,000 a couple.  In a small theater in the house, President Obama addressed the attendees, who sat at roughly a dozen tables that were covered in yellow tablecloths. The theater had several pieces of modern art on its walls, including a large Chuck Close painting.

Standing in front of four American flags, the President addressed the group for 15 minutes. (Below are significant excerpts of what the President said.) The home sits in the back of a cul-de-sac and atop a ridge that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. A long porch wraps around the back of the house, and on the porch were several pieces of modern art, including a large purple mushroom. A bathroom near the room where the pool was held has a ToTo toilet, which has a heated seat.

PRESIDENT

First of all let me say thank you to Irwin and Joan and the whole Jacobs family, they have been great friends for a very long time, and although I am reminded the story Lincoln told when he was president when anybody could line up and wait and potentially get an audience with the president – the Secret Service was not active in that fashion back then. Finally a guy comes and he says, ‘Listen, I was one of your supporters. I worked hard, I made sure you were on the ballot, did everything possible.’ And Lincoln stopped and said ‘Sir, are you saying you are responsible for my presidency?’ and he said ‘Yes.’ And Lincoln said ‘I forgive you.’

Part of the reason it’s so great to see Irwin and Joan in Washington or here is their story embodies America, their stories say something about California.

Being here with them today reminds me of what it is what makes America so special, so we are very grateful for that. And they have some real good looking grand kids who I had a chance to meet. I also want to acknowledge someone who is a great friend of middle class families, working families, people who are striving, people who are working hard just trying to pass on something a little better to their kids, and someone who always has my back, and I couldn’t be prouder to be friends with. Not only did we accomplish a great deal when she was speaker, we are going to accomplish that much more once we get her back in. Nancy Pelosi is here.

And finally, I want to acknowledge not an elected official but someone who has an even tough job – a spouse of an elected official. There’s Lynn, and her son Ben is right there. Some of you know that Scott Peters is our Congressman here, and he couldn’t be here because he is actually doing his job. But Scott is an example of the kind of people we want in Washington. There for the right reasons, there with the right values in a tough district that’s the reason we are here today to make sure all of you understand the urgency of the moment. I’m going to speak relatively briefly because I think we have some time for questions, is that correct? Did I get that right? I hope so.

When I came into office the American economy was in freefall that people still don’t appreciate. By a number of economic indicators, things were collapsing faster than they did in 1929. The pace of job loss was unbelievable, the financial system world wide was on the brink of collapse, and by most measures, what we’ve accomplished together as a country over the last five years has been significant. 9.2 million new jobs, an auto industry that has come roaring back, a financial industry that has stabilized, trillions of dollars in wealth recovered and restored because housing came back, and people’s 401 pensions bounced back.

We’ve been able to double the number of clean energy we produce, we’ve been able to increase fuel efficiency standards on cars, reduce the amount of carbon we are admitting faster than any of the developed countries around the world.

By a lot measures, we’ve made real progress and yet what we also know is that the American public is anxious, they are worried partly because they remember what happened in 2007, 2008, and the shocks they experienced in their own lives, seeing if they didn’t lose their job maybe someone their family lost their job. If someone in their family did lose their home, someone in their family lost their home. Or their own homes they saw plummeting in value also but also because for a couple of decades now even when we are growing and corporate profits are soaring, incomes, wages have not gone up.

For most of us in this room who have done extraordinarily well, we’ve done even better during these periods. But for ordinary Americans, growths in productivity, innovation and transformation of our economy hasn’t translated into greater financial security. Hasn’t translated into the sense that the next generation will live [better??]

SECOND HALF FROM FROM ZACH GOLDFARB

And so not only have we seen in Congress in particular over the last three to four years an utter failure to address the concerns of ordinary middle class families, but that reinforces people’s sense that there’s no point in getting involved at all. It increases apathy [and] a lack of confidnece in our government.

Now those are the facts. But here’s both the challenge and the opportunity. It doesn’t have to be that way. The truth of the matter is that the reason that we have not seen Washington address the core cocnerns of too many working famileis around the country is that you have a party that has been captive to an ideology to a theory of economics that says, "Those folks are on their own. The government doesn’t have an appropriate role to play."

And our goal and our task in this midterm has to be to break that grip, that particular view, that particularly wrong-headed vision of this country, so that we can get back to the business of investing in the American people and investing in this country’s future.

And we can do it because on issue after issue, a majority of Americans actually agree with us. A majority of Americans think we should be raising the minimum wage. If you work full time in this country, you shouldn’t be living in poverty. In fact a significant plurality of Republicans agree with that. A majority of americans think you should get paid equal for equal work, that women shouldn’t be paid less than men, and there should be enforcement of that. Republicans don’t agree with it, but the American people do.

A majority of American people think we should reform a broken immigration system that can help reduce our deficits, create more growth, create more innovation, and even as we are securing our borders and making sure we’re a nation of laws, we’re also reminding ourselves we’re a nation of immigrants. And that’s what makes this country so special.

Republicans so far at least haven’t been willing to step up.  To their credit some in the Senate have, but the Hosue Republicans have stubbornly refused to even allow a vote on the issue. The majority of Americans think we should be investing in education, in early childhood education, in making sure more young people have access to college, in making sure that we’re investing in developing more science and math teachers and engineering students because they understand innovation is vital to our growth, they think we should be investing more in basic research that allows for that innovation to take place. The Republican budget slashes all those things.

So the American people are on our side on the issues. They have just lost faith that we can make it happen. This is where the challenge comes in. In order for us not to simply play defense but actually go back on the offensive on behalf of the American people, on behalf of striving families all across this country including right here in California, we’ve got to have folks like Nancy Pelosi guiding the debate. And the only way that happens is if we feel the same sense of urgency about midterms as we do about presidential elections.

Democrats have a general disease: we get really excited about presidential elections and then during midterms we fall asleep. And partly it’s the nature of our voters. We’re disproportionately young, disproportionately minority, disproportionately working class. Folks are busy, they’ve got a lot of stuff going on, and we tend to drop off during midterms. That’s what happened in 2010.

And I've promised Michelle that 2012 was going to be my last campaign. I had to say to her 'Honey, I’ve got one more." Because on every issue that people here care about -- whether it’s climate change or women’s reproductive health or building our infrastructure -- we are not going to be able to make the kind of progress we need regardless of how hard I push, regardless of how many administrative actions I take, we’re not going to be able to go where we need to go and can go and should go unless I've got a Congress that’s willing to work with me.

I've said before I'm willing to work with Republicans on any of these issues, but youv’e got to believe in climate change to want to work with me on climate change

You’ve got to believe there’s a problem with equal pay in order to work with me.

So I’m going to need everybody here to feel the same sense of urgency as so many of you showed when I was running in 2008 and 2012.

It is a priority not for me, I’m not going to be on the ballot, it is a priority for you and your children and your grandchildren because if you do … if we make the investments we need to make, the 21st century is going to be the American century just like the previous one.

But if we don’t, then the anxieties of so many Americans are going to be justified. That’s not the kind of America we want to live in. We want an America that’s hopeful and growing and dynamic and vital and diverse and tolerant and vindicates the values of the quality … that are so important to our history.

That’s the better future. That’s the one we have to choose. But it’s going to require all of us to do our work in this midterm election. But I know I'm preaching to the choir because otherwise we wouldn’t be here, but I'm going to need you to go out and talk to your neighbors and your coworkers … You’ll be armed with the facts. The truth is on your side on this.

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