July 17th, 2012
03:28 PM ET
San Antonio, TX (CNN) – President Obama took his campaign to one of the reddest states in the country on Tuesday, telling a crowd of roughly 1,200 supporters at a lunch-time fundraiser here that while he may not win their home state in November, Texas Democrats should be optimistic about the future.
“You’re not considered one of the battleground states, but that’s going to be changing soon,” Obama said to applause, referring to Texas’ changing demographics that many analysts predict may help shift the state’s political leaning.
Long a reliable state for Republicans, Texas has nonetheless been a consistent source of money for both political parties. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, only Californians have donated more to presidential candidates this cycle than the nearly $30 million given by Texans.
So it’s no surprise that Obama returned to the Lone Star State for four fundraisers on Tuesday. At the president’s first event of the day, inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, attendees paid at least $250 a piece to hear the president deliver what has become his standard stump speech.
Obama was preceded on stage by Texas Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, actress Eva Longoria and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro – all national co-chairs of Obama for America. The president laid out his vision for how to “build a middle-class that’s strong and secure and growing.”
As he’s done at recent events in Virginia and Ohio, Obama drew a direct line from his middle class upbringing to his involvement in politics, arguing that both he and Michelle see themselves when they look at average Americans.
Obama also defended himself against charges that his call for more government involvement in the lives of the middle class or increased tax rates on high-income workers means that he’s anti-capitalism.
“I believe in individual initiative and entrepreneurship and risk-taking, and I believe that the free market is the greatest system on earth to create wealth and prosperity,” Obama said. “But just like Abraham Lincoln said, there’s some things we do better together than we do on our own.”
The president will also attend a private fundraising reception this afternoon where he will meet with about 70 donors, each paying the $35,800 ticket price. After San Antonio, Mr. Obama heads 80 miles northeast to Austin, Texas. Once in the state capital he will attend an event at the Austin Music Hall where well-known country singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker will join the president in front of a crowd of approximately 1,000 supporters. Before returning to Washington, the president will stop by the residence of former Dell CFO Tom Meredith for a private fundraiser where he hopes to collect a million dollars.