Politics

Obama says Tea Partiers should be thanking him, not protesting his tax policies

Jon Ward Contributor

President Obama on Thursday said he was “amused” by the tax day protests going on around the country to commemorate the IRS deadline for tax returns, and said the Tea Party movement’s protests of his policies were misguided.

“You would think they would be saying ‘thank you.’ That’s what you’d think,” Obama said, speaking to about 1,000 Democratic donors in Miami, at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.

Obama cited tax cuts in the $787 billion stimulus plan of a year ago as one reason that Americans who think taxes are too high should be grateful to him.

“I have been amused a little over the past couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes,” Obama said.*

The crowd applauded loudly, and some yelled out, “Thank you,” to the president.

Nonetheless, when introducing the president, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine said that Democrats still face a difficult election cycle this fall.

“We sort of have to assume we’re running into a headwind,” Kaine said.

The president’s remarks came at the second fundraiser of the night, at Miami’s Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, which about 1,000 people paid between $250 and $1,250 to attend.

The night’s first fundraiser was the more glitzy affair, held at the home of Gloria and Emelio Estefan, where a smaller group of donors paid $30,400 per couple to attend.

The DNC expected to raise $2.5 million from the events, a DNC official told a reporter traveling with the president.

*The president’s quotes were originally provided to the entire White House press corps by a pool reporter traveling with the president in Miami and were updated when TV footage of his speech was aired. The quote originally read: “‘So I’ve been amused in recent days by these people having rallies,’ Obama said.”

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