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Obama's lament at Democratic fundraiser: 'in midterms, we get clobbered'


At the Pinecrest home of Alonzo Mourning, the basketball star’s wife, Tracy Mourning, introduced President Obama during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser on Thursday night. But she first told a story of how her mother, a cleaning woman, struggled to make sure she felt she had everything she needed.

“When those damned Republicans are in office, I’m struggling,” Tracy Mourning said her mother would tell her.

Obama spoke shortly after 8:30 p.m. and told the wealthy donors that they need to give back to the party and the community.

Obama said he and others succeeded because of their parents. But society helped as well.

“We have a society and a government that at critical junctures said, ‘You know what? Let’s give you a hand up. You’re making an effort. Let’s give you a scholarship to go to school. You had an illness in your family? We’re going to make sure that there’s a net beneath you so you can get back on your feet. You’re a child who’s born into poverty? It doesn’t matter. We’re going to make sure that the public school can deliver a good education for you.”

Obama said that “because of that collective effort” America is the greatest nation. He pointed out that the economy has improved since he first took office. But for many “incomes, wages are flat. And people are getting a hard time getting traction.”

“Unfortunately we’ve got on the other side folks who have a different vision of America,” Obama said, adding he wasn’t questioning their patriotism or devotion to their families. “They’re basic vision is that we don’t have an obligation, at least to our government, to help. Everybody’s just got to look out for themselves or to the community that you’ve built or your church or your synagogue or your block or your family. We don’t have to worry about that kid on the other side of town. We don’t have to worry about that woman who’s cleaning our house. Which is why every initiative that we put forward they say no to.”

Obama said the good news is that the polls are on the side of Democrats when it comes to major issues like the minimum wage, early childhood education, raising the minimum wage, immigration reform.

“The challenge is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith and finally they just say: ‘you know what? I’m not interested. I’m not going to bother. I’m not going to vote. And that’s especially true during the midterms,” he said.

In presidential elections, he said, young, women and minorities vote for a “more-representative cross section of America.”

“But in midterms, we get clobbered,” Obama said. “We’re going to have to get over that.”