April 22nd, 2011
05:38 AM ET

Obama continues campaign swing with star power

Los Angeles, California (CNN) - Despite switching an audience of tech executives for Hollywood moguls, President Barack Obama on Thursday night made the same plea for help in his re-election as he wrapped up a two-day west coast campaign swing in Los Angeles.

At the first of two fundraisers on the lot of Sony Studios in Culver City, Obama told an audience of about 100 guests he needed the same commitment from them in 2012 that drove them to support his unlikely candidacy four years earlier.

"Lets face it, it was not likely that I was going to end up in the Oval Office," Obama said of his supporters' grassroots efforts in his first campaign.

Obama told the audience that included Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and actor Dennis Haysbert that with the power of incumbency also comes an even tougher electoral atmosphere in the next cycle.

As the president spoke, actor Jamie Foxx was busy warming up the second fundraiser, billed as a "Gen 44" event by the DNC, on the same studio lot.

Walking on to the sound stage moments later, where the next installment of the "Spiderman" series is being filmed, Obama jokingly corrected a chorus of "four more years" from audience members by telling them "technically it's five and a half."

The stage was used previously for the filming of "Castaway," "Iron Man 2," and "The Dirty Dozen" according to Jim Kennedy, former deputy press secretary for former President Bill Clinton who is now an executive with Sony.

"I'm glad you're in, I hope you are all in," Obama said to an enthusiastic audience of more than 2,500 campaign contributors.

Interrupted by large applause lines, Obama used his remarks to hit most of the same areas he has since he formally launched his bid for re-election. "Because of you," Obama said, the country avoided a second great depression, made college more affordable, and helped create jobs in clean energy and elsewhere.

Touching on the anxiety of an audience facing some of the highest gas prices in the country, Obama said "we are already making a difference" to bringing down gas prices over the long term through tougher fuel economy standards, advanced battery production and investments in new energy sources.

In addition to calls for immigration reform and investments in infrastructure, Obama said the current debate in Washington over the deficit "is really about the kind of future we want."

Making a case for cuts in wasteful defense spending, and the closure of loopholes in the tax cuts, Obama called for ending tax cuts of the wealthiest 2% while refusing to cut spending in areas like education.

From the studio, Obama traveled to a third fundraiser at the Tavern restaurant in Brentwood with Hollywood heavyweights Jeffrey Katzenberg and Tom Hanks among the approximately 100 in attendance.

Although he hit the same themes as before, Obama added some lines that touched on the controversy over his place of birth.

"You all got involved when the prospect of electing Barack Hussein Obama was slim," he said as he referenced the 'birther' movement ... None of you asked for my birth certificate. "It was a complete leap of faith."

Tickets for the three events ranged from $100 to the legal maximum limit of $35,800.

In addition to six fundraisers over two days, Obama also hosted town hall meetings at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, and a renewable energy company in Reno, Nevada.

Topics: 2012 Election • Campaign • President Obama

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