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Robert De Niro, Campaigning For President Obama, Asks: Is U.S. 'Ready For A White First Lady?'

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WASHINGTON -- Actor Robert De Niro stumped for President Barack Obama on Monday night, joking that the country may not be ready for the white culture that each of the GOP presidential candidates would bring into the White House.

"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white First Lady?" De Niro asked a crowd of Obama supporters, according to a White House pool report. De Niro was hosting a fundraiser with Michelle Obama at his New York City restaurant, Locanda Verde.

The crowd "roared" in response to De Niro's question, according to the pool report, and De Niro said back, "Too soon, right?"

De Niro's wife Grace Hightower also warmed up the crowd ahead of the First Lady's remarks. She ticked off Obama's accomplishments in the last three years and said he was up against "vampire energies" as he tried to get things done. Hightower also raved about Michelle Obama being "a stunner ... Even Republicans can agree with that."

Several high-profile celebrities turned out for the event, including Harvey Weinstein, Beyonce, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Angela Bassett and Ben Stiller. The pool reporter also spotted Star Jones, "who lounged on a leather couch." About 85 people were at the event and paid at least $5,000 apiece to attend.

President Obama and the First Lady have one thing in common when it comes to giving speeches: someone in the audience passes out. At Monday's event, the pool report notes that someone appeared to be on the verge of fainting and had to be taken to a couch to sit down.

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Filed by Jennifer Bendery
 
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