(NEW YORK) — President Obama Wednesday night laid into embattled Republican Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri for his recent comments on rape and abortion, telling a crowd of campaign donors that the congressman must have “somehow missed science class.”
“Recently some of you have been paying attention to the commentary about the senator [sic] from Missouri, Mr. Akin, who … the interesting thing here is that this is an individual who sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology but somehow missed science class,” Obama said, drawing laughter and applause.
“And it’s representative of the desire to go backwards instead of forwards and fight fights that we thought were settled 20 or 30 years ago,” he added.
The president was addressing a group of 120 current and former NBA stars and other wealthy supporters attending the $20,000 per plate “Obama Classic” fundraiser in New York City. Spotted in the crowd were co-host Michael Jordan and his fiancee, Yvette Prieto, Bill Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
“This is my dream team,” Obama told the group at the top of his remarks.
“It’s very rare I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person. Usually, people want to take a picture with me, sit next to me, talk to me. … That has not been the case at this event,” he joked.
The event — a trio of fundraisers — included an earlier autograph session and skills camp with many of the stars. Tickets for those were $250 and $5,000 per person, respectively.
“I can’t resist a basketball analogy,” said Obama, turning to discuss the 2012 presidential race. “We are in the fourth quarter. We’re up by a few points but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty. We’ve got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. We’ve got a couple of injuries and I believe that they’ve got one last run in them.
“I’d say there’s about seven minutes to go in the game,” he added. “And Michael’s competitiveness is legendary. And nobody knows better than Michael that if you’ve got a little bit of a lead and there’s about seven minutes ago, that’s when you put them away.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Ruth Brown and Lis Stewart, Idaho Press-Tribune
Kelly Wallace, CNN
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com