POLITICS
06/21/2013 02:23 am ET Updated Jun 21, 2013

Obama To Netroots Nation: 'I Need You'

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- President Barack Obama told a gathering of progressive activists on Thursday that he needs their help in pressuring lawmakers to move his agenda forward.

Obama addressed the crowd at Netroots Nation via a video message. He cited rebuilding the middle class, access to preschool, gun control, comprehensive immigration reform, Internet access in classrooms and Obamacare as areas where progressive pressure is crucial.

"On all these issues, I'll do everything in my power to keep making progress. But I can't do it alone," he said. "I need you to put pressure on members of Congress and make your voices heard, just like you've always done."

"We won't always agree on everything, and I know you'll tell me when we don't," he added. "But if we work together, I'm confident we'll keep moving this country forward."

Indeed, Netroots Nation participants have been clear during this conference about where they disagree with Obama, with frustration over the possible construction of the Keystone XL pipeline spilling over into a presentation by Organizing for Action, the Obama-allied non-profit group that succeeded his campaign arm.

On Friday morning, progressive activists pressed OFA on its silence on Keystone and its refusal to take on an issue that requires criticizing the president.

Obama also sent a video message to Netroots Nation in 2012. He last appeared in person at the gathering in 2007, along with several other Democratic presidential candidates at the time. In 2011, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer answered questions at the conference, defending the president's record on Afghanistan, gay rights, Libya and the economy.

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