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Obama brings dollar drive to Detroit

This news story was published on April 18, 2012.
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By David Jesse and Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press –

DETROIT — President Barack Obama charmed two groups of Michigan friends Wednesday, praising their willingness to take a risk voting for him four years ago.

But, more than anything, he was courting their checks in a race to raise money from Michigan and across the country for the fall presidential campaign against presumed Republican presidential nominee — and Michigan native — Mitt Romney.

“When you decided to support a candidate named Barack Hussein Obama, you know it’s not going to be a sure thing,” he joked to a crowd of about 600 at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.

The audience’s biggest response, though, was to this line: “Osama bin Laden no longer walks the face of this earth. That’s what change is.”

Obama, as he and his campaign have done repeatedly in recent months, touted his rescue of Chrysler and General Motors his first year in office.

If Michigan, which hasn’t voted for a Republican for president since 1988, remains a presidential battleground state into the fall, it’s a theme Obama will repeat at every opportunity.

Obama was introduced by Jeff Klayo, a worker from Chrysler’s Sterling Stamping Plant who was laid off for six months before the rescue, but got his job back after government money kept the company alive.

“I’m truly honored to introduce the man who looks out for the little guy,” he said.

Obama didn’t come to Michigan to win their votes, though. He came to raise a target of $1 million this trip to help his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Romney had a fundraising advantage of $2 million to $1.6 million over Obama in the state through the end of February, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

“The last thing we can afford to do is to go back to the policies that got us in this mess in the first place,” Obama said. “That’s what other people running for this office want to do. They make no secret of it. I’ve got no doubt they love this country, but they are wrong.”

Even with the latest unemployment numbers released Wednesday showing Michigan’s jobless rate dropping to 8.5 percent, the economy is the top issue in Michigan and elsewhere. Obama said the decision voters make this year is critical.

“This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class in this country,” he said.

In the most recent Michigan poll earlier this month, Obama led Romney, former Massachusetts governor, 47 percent to 43 percent, according to EPIC-MRA of Lansing.

Obama spoke on a stage facing several displays of American manufacturing, a setting he referenced often, saying he wants the U.S. to lead the world in making products, not just buying things made in other countries.

Those in attendance paid $250 to $5,000 to see, shake hands with or have a photo taken with Obama.

After the Dearborn fund-raiser, Obama headed to the Bingham Farms home of Denise Ilitch and her husband, Jim Scalici, where 47 people paid $10,000 to $40,000 to meet or have a private dinner with the president.

Among those in attendance were former Detroit Tigers outfielder Willie Horton, former Gov. James Blanchard, attorney Geoffrey Fieger and Jalen Rose, an ESPN commentator and former member of the University of Michigan’s Fab 5.

Obama told the group that at the Ford museum, he sat in the same bus made famous by civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat to a white rider.

“It gave me a moment to ponder the courage and tenacity,” of our very recent history, he said.

“We have a lot at stake in this election,” he said. “But we have the truth on our side.”

Ilitch, chairwoman of the University of Michigan Board of Regents, is the daughter of Mike and Marian Ilitch, who own the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings and Little Caesar s Pizza.

Obama came to Michigan from Ohio, where he met with students and gave a speech at Lorain County Community College. He headed back to Washington after leaving Michigan.

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15 Responses to Obama brings dollar drive to Detroit

  1. jcrisa Reply Report comment

    April 21, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    You can tell a democrat, but to Obama’s favor, you can’t tell them much.

  2. truthrdare Reply Report comment

    April 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Someone, anyone, please give a list of Obama’s positive accomplishments during his presidency? His tenure as Senator? His organizer years? As a student? Please no “party line” hype or other B.S. Just verifiable facts please.

    • wow Reply Report comment

      April 20, 2012 at 7:52 am

      Please list Bushes accomplishments right along side too.

      • Worried American Reply Report comment

        April 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm

        Now, you are on the wrong blog.

        Bush is not running for president.

        Junior is — you know the guy who has a reign of fialure.

        The one who says he needs another four years to demonstrate, at our expense, his incompetence at a Grade of ZERO!!!

      • BHUDDA Reply Report comment

        April 23, 2012 at 12:35 am

        Bush got us through 9/11 and he inherited a recession from Clinton and when gas prices rose under Bush they came down in a couple of days not months .Bush kept the unemployment at around 5% during most of his 2 terms . Bush went to the war zones and ate meals on holidays with the troops to keep moral high , he sure didn’t use every minut to find a wealthy hangout like the current does . Bush still goes to the airports to thank returning troops for their service.

      • wow Reply Report comment

        April 23, 2012 at 1:01 am

        “Good job Brownie.” Comes to mind when I think of Bush during Katrina…

  3. wannahug Reply Report comment

    April 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    “But we have the truth on our side.” No, Obama doesn’t have the truth on his or their side – in fact, he was the most secretive President ever during the first term – and we surely do NOT need him for another four years, GOD HELP AMERICA if he does win a second term, for gone will be our Liberties as well as our Freedom!! Count on it!

  4. JTG Reply Report comment

    April 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Obama can’t speak the truth for he doesn’t know what truth is. He ALWAYS does the exact opposite of whatever he speaks. He is a LIAR!!! America is MUCH WORSE because of this man. We must replace him in November. The Soviet Union has been gone for so long people don’t remember how the Russian people lived under a government run country. They were all equal, all equally poor and in need. Remember the long lines at stores for basic items? It can happen here under Obama. He can’t bring everyone up, but he can bring everyone down and that is his plan. Help return America to the Superior nation it once was by voting out ALL democrats and moderate republicans.

  5. wow Reply Report comment

    April 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Here is some MORE truth.

    9/11, Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina Response, Banking bailout, Insurance bailout, Automaker bailout?

    Can we afford another republican?

    • Patriot1776 Reply Report comment

      April 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Are you saying that President Bush or the republicans were responsible for 9/11 and Katrina? According to Obama, he is claiming credit for the auto industry bailout, but you are blaming Bush?

      As for Iraq and Afghanistan, would you prefer the obama approach and cower to the terrorists? What we can’t afford is president stimulus/crony funder.

    • JanetteGale Reply Report comment

      April 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      So sad that you’re not looking at what Obama has done to this awesome Nation of ours…he’s ridiculed our citizens for being lazy, bowed to foreign powers, welcomed Muslims to OUR White House while ushering the Jewish PM in through the back door as though he were a servant. He acknowledges Muslim holidays while ignoring any that have to do with our religious faith. And then you say……”Can we afford another Republican”??? The important question to America’s future is…”Can we afford another 4 years of Obama?”

      Please, please, PLEASE do your research before voting in November!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      Banking, Insurance and Automaker bailouts were Obama’s doing, and heavily opposed by Republicans.

      The only finger pointing you could realistically do during Katrina was to the inept local governments in New Orleans.

      What about Afghanistan and Iraq? Have you forgotten the state of the country and it’s attitude post 9/11? At the time, Republicans and Democrats alike would have been calling for Bush’s head on a platter if he DIDN’T do something about it.

    • Stephen Reply Report comment

      April 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Wow, are you really that ignorant? First, 9/11 was caused by Islamic terrorists, not Bush. Second Katrina, well first, the storm is what we refer to as an act of God, concerning the response, the people who suffered in the city were initially told to leave the city before the hurricane, they decided to stay. Having stayed the efforts of the National Guard and the fed were initially blocked by the Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco a democrat and the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin also a democrat. Also, it is not the province to the President of the United States to micro manage such efforts. I could go on, but let me just say that our current president has done nothing since in office except enrich his backers, lie to the American people, push to divide the American people and put us in so much debt that it will take several generations if ever to dig our selves out. We can not afford 4 more years of this idiot.

    • Vietnam Veteran Reply Report comment

      April 20, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Here is THE TRUTH.

      You are either too ignorant, too kool-aid impaired or too anti-America to deserve the right to vote.

  6. City Jim Reply Report comment

    April 19, 2012 at 8:20 am

    If “Truth is on our side,” then here’s some more truth:

    From the U.S. Government Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Dec-2008 Dec-2011
    Under Bush Under Obama
    143M 140M Number of Employed Citizens
    $1.69 $3.28 One Gallon of Regular Gasoline
    $2.41 $2.92 One Pound of Ground Beef
    Can you afford four more years of Obama?