Obama Jokes About Tax Day Protests At Miami Fundraiser
MIAMI - President Barack Obama said Thursday he's amused by the anti-tax tea party protests that have been taking place around Tax Day.
Obama told a fundraiser in Miami that he's cut taxes, contrary to the claims of protesters.
"You would think they'd be saying thank you," he said.
At that, many in the crowd at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts stood and yelled, "Thank you!"
The fundraiser was one of two Obama held after a speech at Cape Canaveral on his administration's space policy. The other was hosted by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, a $30,400-per-couple fete that stirred some controversy in the traditionally Republican Cuban-American community.
Together, the events raised $2.5 million for the Democratic National Committee.
DNC Chairman Tim Kaine spoke before Obama and delivered a sobering assessment of the party's chances in the November midterm elections, noting that the party in power traditionally sustains losses in the midterms.
"There are a lot of prognosticators who are saying this is going to be a very tough year for the Democrats," Kaine said.
"We sort of have to assume that we're running into a headwind," Kaine said, but he contended Democrats were accustomed to being underdogs.
Referencing his speech at Cape Canaveral, Obama told the crowd that he was just visiting NASA and thought he'd "beam down and visit my friends in Miami."
Obama called on Republicans and Democrats to come together to pass strong financial regulation legislation. He said every member of Congress would have to decide "between special interests and the American people."
He said lobbyists are already gearing up for a fight.
"It's like throwing a piece of meat in a piranha tank," he said. "They're going to race to see how fast they can tear it apart."
Obama cheered the special-election victory of Florida Democratic state Sen. Ted Deutch in Tuesday's special election to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler. It was the first House election since passage of his controversial health care bill and Obama noted that commentators viewed the election as a referendum on that legislation or on Obama himself.
"And it was!" he said.