WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama raised nearly $2.5 million Friday at three fundraising events, including one where he crossed paths with President Bill Clinton. The other two were hosted by a Virginia businessman and philanthropist who helped hundreds of struggling Americans attend Obama's inaugural in 2009.
Obama met Clinton at a hotel where Obama was attending an intimate fundraiser with 25 donors that brought in $1 million for his re-election bid. Clinton was there hosting a fundraiser for Rep. John Lewis, the Democratic congressman from Georgia. The White House said the two presidents had the opportunity to say hello.
Later, Obama flew on Marine One to nearby McLean, Va., for two separate events at the home of Earl W. Stafford, an Obama supporter who in 2009 spent $1.6 million so that homeless and jobless people and wounded soldiers could attend Obama's inaugural and its celebratory balls.
Those two events combined raised at least $1.4 million.
Obama, addressing about 270 at a reception in Stafford's house, stuck to his economic themes and said his rival Mitt Romney wants to provide more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and would do so by gutting investments in education, infrastructure and health care.
"This is not a recipe for long-term growth," Obama said.
Speaking to a largely black audience at the reception, Obama said he understood the struggles they've faced building a better life for their families and that he would fight for them if re-elected.
"I know where you've been because that's where I've been," he said.
The events capped a week in which the president tapped donors in four states: California, Oregon, Washington and Louisiana. His estimated total from that fundraising swing was at least $7 million.