January 11th, 2012
12:22 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - A day after the GOP’s New Hampshire primary, President Obama focuses on his re-election campaign, returning to his hometown Chicago to raise some hefty campaign cash. But pundits will be watching closely to see if he directly takes on Republican GOP front-runner Mitt Romney when the president speaks at a campaign event Wednesday evening.
Tuesday evening, as Romney celebrated his New Hampshire victory by attacking the president, Vice President Joe Biden unleashed the Obama camp’s harshest attack yet on Romney, saying, "He thinks it's more important for the stockholders and the shareholders and the investors and the venture capital guys to do well for those employees to be part of the bargain."
The Biden attack came in the wake of Romney’s rivals seizing on his saying “I like being able to fire people,” which Biden also said “was probably taken out of context.”
Speaking to Democratic supporters in New Hampshire via video teleconference, the vice president appeared to characterize Republicans as "brush" that Democrats need to clear aside before they can move the country forward.
President Obama will speak at one of tonight’s three fundraisers in Chicago, an event geared to the president’s younger, grassroots supporters. At a concert and fundraiser sponsored by Gen 44 - the group that bills itself as the under 40 working professional arm of the Obama campaign– supporters will pay from $44 for a general admission ticket to $1000 for VIP status entry. The president and guests will be entertained by Grammy-nominated R&B soul musician Janelle Monáe. The event, at the University of Illinois Chicago campus, is hosted by actor Hill Harper, famous for his work on the popular television drama CSI: NY.
But that strain looks to have no affect on the president’s ability to raise big bucks in the windy city. in fact chief of staff Daley will accompany the president to Chicago.
Tonight’s other two fundraisers are at private residences for big ticket donors.
According to an Obama campaign official the president will attend an intimate fundraiser for about 60 people. Couples will be paying $35,800 to mingle with the commander in chief. He then heads to another private fundraiser where tickets start at $7500 per person for the 100 invited participants.
The campaign is quick to point out these high dollar fetes are the exception rather than the rule. The Obama campaign website shows 81% of donations have been for $50 or less, 98% were contributions of $250 or less.
The Democratic National Committee together with the Obama campaign has raised a combined $156 million through September of 2011. Contributions from the last three months are not yet available from the Federal Election Commission.