June 30th, 2011
06:23 PM ET
Philadelphia (CNN) - President Obama Thursday continued his tough talk on negotiations that surround raising the debt ceiling, telling a packed ballroom of supporters in Philadelphia he will not agree to the broad spending cuts some Republican leaders in Congress are demanding.
“I am prepared to bring our deficit down by trillions of dollars. That’s with a T, trillions. But I will not reduce our deficit by sacrificing our kids’ education… by eliminating medical research being done by our scientists,” Obama said to a largely enthusiastic crowd. “I won’t sacrifice rebuilding our roads, and our bridges, and our railways and our airports.”
The comments followed similarly tough talk at his White House press conference Wednesday and came at a joint fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s reelection campaign - an event that more than 800 people paid at least $100 to attend, according to DNC officials.
Before the president touched down in Philadelphia Thursday evening, he was already taking heat from Republicans for taking time to raise money only a day after he scolded Congress for not showing enough action ahead of the looming August 2 debt ceiling deadline.
But unlike Wednesday’s press conference, the president made no direct mention of his Republican critics, instead sounding a confident tone about his reelection prospects.
"I have 5 and a half more years to go," he told the cheering crowd.
But the crowd wasn't entirely supportive. At one point, the president was interrupted by a small gathering of protesters, critical of the president over the issue of AIDS. But the crowd quickly drowned out their chants.
Following the 20 minute speech, Obama headed to a more intimate and high-dollar fundraiser at the home of David Cohen, the executive vice president of Comcast Corporation. Tickets for that event begin at $10,000. The two events together are expected to net $2.5 million.
Obama's trip to Pennsylvania Thursday marks the thirteenth time he has visited the crucial battleground state since his inauguration and is the third trip since kicking off his reelection bid on April 4.
Before hitting the cash-circuit, the president made an unannounced stop at John’s Water Ice, a longtime refreshment staple in South Philadelphia. During the seven-minute visit he greeted a throng of people that hastily gathered outside and ordered a lemon-flavored Ice, referring to the drink as “outstanding.”