(SAN ANTONIO) — Greeting a crowd of donors in Texas on Tuesday, President Obama revved up Democrats in the traditionally red state telling them he sees shades of purple that might ultimately turn blue down the line.
“The next four months, you guys won’t see them, because, you know, you’re not considered one of the battleground states, although that’s going to be changing soon in the next four months,” Obama said of negative ads at a fundraising luncheon at a downtown convention center. “There is going to be more money spent than we’ve ever seen before, folks writing $10 million checks to try to beat me, running ads with scary voices and basically one message. I mean, it’s a very simple message, you know. Their message is the economy is not where it needs to be and it’s Obama’s fault…There will be variations on the theme, but it will be the same message over and over and over again. That’s what they’re banking on because they can’t sell their actual economic plan. So their goal is to see if they can knock us down.”
President Obama’s Texas fundraising swing, which is expected to net him north of $4 million for his re-election effort, according to campaign officials, is squeezed in between campaign trips to two battleground states – Ohio on Monday and Florida at the end of the week.
Jimmy Carter was the last presidential candidate to win the state of Texas in 1976. In 2008, then-candidate Obama lost Texas to the Republican nominee Sen. John McCain by nearly 12 points.
But while Republican candidates tend to fare better in the Texas polls, the Lone Star state money race between President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is nearly dead even, with Romney taking in only $120 more in Texas than Obama, according to an analysis of FEC filings by ABC News Houston affiliate KTRK. Texans have given more than $7.4 million to each of the candidates.
Obama described the contrast between himself and Romney, pointing to their differences on handling health care, ending the Bush tax cuts, and keeping jobs in America, an issue the Obama campaign has repeatedly raised as it attempts to tie Romney to the outsourcing of jobs at Bain Capital.
“His main calling card for wanting to be president is his private sector experience, so we ask the voters to examine that experience,” Obama said. “He invested, made money investing in companies that have been called pioneers of outsourcing. I don’t want pioneers of outsourcing in the White House. I want somebody who believes in in-sourcing. Let’s bring those jobs back home. That’s why I’m running for a second term as president of the United States.”
The president spoke to a crowd of approximately 1200 people, who paid at least $250 to attend the event, at a fundraiser in downtown San Antonio. He then headed to a private fundraiser where attendees paid $38,500 a person to hear the president speak. Obama will fly to Austin for two additional fundraisers this evening.
The four Texas events today bring President Obama’s fundraiser total to 112 this year, setting a new record of 182 total re-election fundraisers attended by the president in his first term.
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Deirdre Walsh and Eugene Scott, CNN
Rachel Sande, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Bradner, Jeff Zeleny and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN