DENVER (CBS4) – President Barack Obama mixed fundraising with a commencement speech on a two city stop in Colorado on Wednesday.
The president took jabs at Mitt Romney during a fundraiser in Denver Wednesday afternoon after giving the commencement speech at the Air Force Academy earlier in the day.
The president said Romney doesn’t get it when it comes to the economy and that he isn’t living in the real world. Obama also told supporters the election will be close and the latest fundraising numbers reflect that.
Through April Obama and Democrat Party groups raised $450 million and have more than $150 million in the bank.
Obama’s biggest donor is Microsoft employees and their families. Until the month of May he enjoyed a 10-1 cash advantage over Romney. But the GOP nominee has narrowed the gap.
Romney and Republican Party groups have raised more than $400 million now and have about $80 million in the bank. Romney’s biggest donor is Goldman Sachs employees and their families.
Some 550 people attended Wednesday’s fundraiser at the Denver Hyatt. Tickets started at $250 and topped out at $40,000 for couples wanting a picture with the president.
Obama told supporters he inherited a house of cards that collapsed and he has to rebuild things. He said Romney and Republicans would return to the bad ideas that caused the collapse in the first place.
“I don’t know how they’ve been bamboozling folks into thinking that they are the responsible, fiscally-disciplined party. They run up these wild debts and then when we take over we have to clean it up,” Obama said. “And then they point and say, ‘Look how irresponsible they are.’ Look at facts, look at the numbers. And now I want to finish the job.
“This election will be closer than last one. People don’t remember last election was close. We’re going to have to contend with even more negative ads, even more cynicism and nastiness and just plain foolishness.”
Experts say there will be more negative ads because there is more money than ever in politics.
This is the first presidential election since the Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that helped create super PACS — groups with hundreds of millions of dollars to spend. Experts say it’s no doubt they will spend a lot of it in battleground Colorado.
Across the street from the Hyatt about 40 people protested the president’s visit. They carried signs reading “Where Are The Jobs?” and “Out Of Hope, Ready For Change.”
“I’d like him to explain supply and demand and see if he could do that. He wouldn’t have a clue how to explain that. And that’s the problem. That’s why he’s gotten us so far into debt,” protester Jim McCann said.
The protesters were kept about a block away from the hotel, well out of view of the president and his donors.
Air Force One took off from Buckley Air Force Base about shortly after his fundraising event. The president headed to the San Francisco Bay area for two more days of fundraising. His next stop is the town of Atherton for a nearly $36,000 a person event at a private home. David Crosby and Graham Nash will perform at the event.
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Obama then heads to a large rally at a Ben Harper concert in Redwood City. Premium seating starts at $1,000 a person.
On Thursday morning Obama has a third fundraiser. It’s a campaign roundtable in Palo Alto that costs about $36,000 to attend.