SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — President Barack Obama conceded Wednesday that people around the country are wondering if he can keep his promise to build an economy designed for the long term. But he blasted opponents as offering nothing more than finger-pointing as a platform.
Obama told donors at a San Francisco fundraiser that "the other side" doesn't have any new ideas.
"And because they don't have any new ideas, what they will do is spend 500, 700, a billion dollars in negative ads and their simple message will be: This is someone else's fault and that's enough reason for you to vote for us," he said.
"And," he added, "if we don't answer them, that can work."
The president made no mention of the results of Tuesday's Wisconsin recall election. Democrats failed to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker, bad news for the president and the party that came just days after a dismal jobs report cast gloom on the economic recovery.
In "Virginia or Iowa or North Carolina or California, all across the country," Obama said, "there are a lot of folks who are still wondering — are we going to be able to fully deliver on that promise of a country that is thriving and has an economy that is built to last?"
Obama offered no new prescriptions for how he would answer Americans' economic questions. He said he's pushing a number of bills in Congress aimed at boosting jobs and growth but has gotten little help from Republican lawmakers.
Obama was holding fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday morning, expecting to raise more than $5 million for his re-election campaign and the Democratic Party. The events were putting Obama in touch with an array of sports and Hollywood figures.
In San Francisco, the president was introduced by Hall of Fame baseball player Willie Mays, a former outfielder for the New York Giants and San Francisco Giants. In Los Angeles, Obama was speaking at a gala for gay and lesbian supporters where talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was delivering remarks. A dinner later Wednesday was at the Beverly Hills home of "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy.
Following his fundraising drive in California, Obama was heading to Nevada on Thursday for a speech at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The president planned to announce new steps to help college students repay their loans and his efforts to jumpstart the economy.