Obama speaks to half-empty fundraiser, heckled by AIDS activist in Florida

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
Font Size:

President Obama’s re-election campaign swept through Florida on Monday. Obama spoke at three fundraisers, including one that was open to the public.

The largest fundraiser had a disappointing turnout. Politico reported that only 980 tickets were sold for the event at the 2,200 seat Adrienne Arsht Center. The upper level of the center was completely empty, the second and third levels only partially full, according to Politico.

Tickets were sold at a relatively low $44.

“I know the conversation you guys are having. ‘I’m not feeling as hopeful as I was.’ And I understand that,” Obama told attendees. “There have been frustrations, and I’ve got some dings to show for it over the last two and half years.”

During the speech a protester interrupted, shouting, “keep your promise, stop AIDS now.” Other attendees drowned out the heckler by chanting “Obama, Obama, Obama.”

(Air Force Campaign One to Puerto Rico)

In Florida, Obama also appeared at two private fundraisers. ABC News reported that a $10,000 per person fundraiser was hosted by former Samsonite CEO and Ambassador to Singapore Steve Green. The other was hosted by JP and Maggie Austin for 40 attendees at $35,800 per person.

The Miami Herald notes that “Florida’s 10.8 percent unemployment rate remains stubbornly higher than the nation’s” and the state’s “home-foreclosure rate is also among the nation’s highest.”