President Barack Obama told his wealthy donors Wednesday night that they should support his 2014 mid-term election campaign as much as his presidential races.
“It’s going to be absolutely critical that everybody here feels the same urgency and intensity over the next year and a half leading up to the midterm elections, as you did in 2008 and 2012,” he told almost 50 donors at the Miami Beach home of Tom Sullivan, the founder of Lumber Liquidators.
He used the same language at another fundraiser nearby, telling roughly 175 donors that “I’m going to need all of you to be just as engaged as you were in 2012 and 2008.”
Democratic turnout tends to dip in the mid-term congressional elections. In 2010, for example, the GOP swept elections across the country.
In 2014, however, Obama wants to repeat the 2012 election, in which Democratic turnout increased and GOP turnout fell.
“Sometimes, the presidential campaigns are the ones that get a lot of notice and a lot of fanfare,” Obama told his donors. “And what happens, particularly among Democrats, is when it’s not a presidential year, our turnout drops off,” he said.
“We can’t think in those terms … You’ve got to play hard the whole time, not just part of the time,” he said.
“And so I’m spending a lot of time traveling around the country,” he added, citing his recent trips to North Carolina and Austin, Texas.
“We’re going to need great members of Congress who are passionate and motivated and thinking about how we build a thriving, growing middle class and providing ladders of opportunity for people to get into the middle class,” he declared. “ And in order for me to have those members of Congress, I’m going to need all of you active… let’s get to work. I hope you’re still fired up.”
In both speeches, he strongly criticized Republican legislators, and touted his record, including “seven million jobs.”
Since July 2008, the number of Americans with jobs has dropped by 3 million to 144 million, while the working-age population has climbed 9 million to 245 million, including roughly 4 million working-age immigrants.
But he also praised the GOP Senators pushing for a rewrite of the nation’s immigration law. “In some cases, we’re seeing Republicans willing to work with us and compromise,” he said about Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake.
“I think we have an enormous opportunity to get a bipartisan immigration bill done… that will be not just an enormous political achievement, but an important economic foundation for us,” he said.