From: Alexis Simendinger [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, October 23, 2015 05:13 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: POOL Report #2 (resending) -- DNC Women's Leadership Forum
POOL Report #2
Oct. 23, 2015
POTUS remarks, DNC WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP FORUM 2015
Grand Hyatt Hotel, DC
President Obama walked on stage at 4:09 PM. He finished speaking at 4:32 PM. He shook hands with audience members after firing up an enthusiastic, loud crowd of female admirers. He delivered a spirited speech about how Democrats have the right ideas, and Republicans are like “Grumpy Cat,” an Internet meme born in 2012. Obama grimaced with a theatrically downturned mouth, inviting much laughter.
The president raced through a list of the achievements of his administration, which he described as a healthier economy, health care reform, “20 times more solar energy than when I came into office,” a cleaner environment. He added to the list improved standing for the United States abroad after 2009, leadership on climate change, international trade, engagement with Cuba and the Iran nuclear deal, and he said the administration brought “thousands of our brave troops home.”
He said marriage equality “is now a reality,” high school and college graduation rates are up, deficits are down, and he noted that teen pregnancy rates have fallen. Obama used that as an opening to swipe at politicians and members of Congress who seek to “intrude” in women’s reproductive decision making.
[Please check transcript for accuracy, as usual.]
The president pivoted to Republicans, whom he described as “so down,” and “gloomy.”
“They are like Grumpy Cat (made a face). Everything is terrible according to them. `We’re doomed!’”
Obama said he knows “it’s the political season, but you listen to them and they’ve constructed this entire separate reality. It’s like the Twilight Zone!”
Characterizing the hallmarks of the Bush years, the president mocked the GOP. “If you listen to them, it’s like those were the good old days.” He said Republicans’ assessment that “then I came in and everything went to heck … is a hard argument to make.”
Obama said the reason the GOP “have to make up stuff is because they don’t have a record to run on.”
He enumerated GOP policies as more tax cuts for the wealthy; repeal ACA; “gut” Wall Street reform; “strip away regulations against polluters; “deny that our planet” is warming “despite evidence to the contrary.”
He said Washington Republicans are more extreme than the party nationally. “Washington Republicans are alone on their own shrinking island.”
Obama repeated that Democrats have the right ideas, are optimistic and united.
He said, “I’m going to be supporting whoever the nominee is,” which prompted the audience to laugh. “What are you laughing about?” He said Democrats have the “right candidates,” and he pointed to the Oct. 13 debate in Las Vegas as an example of civil, policy-focused discussions.
“They weren’t just saying crazy stuff, and they weren’t dividing the country into us and them, and tapping into people’s worst impulses.”
Obama said he was proud of the party’s presidential candidates. And he then assailed conservatives for “thinking about shutting down Planned Parenthood.”
He said Democrats wanted to find a cure for cancer “like Vice President Biden said.” He mentioned paid family leave, raising wages, and pay equity for women.
He returned to his theme that rewarding GOP candidates’ “attention-getting and controversy” encouraged voter cynicism and pessimism that Washington can work. “People throw up their hands.”
He told the audience of cheering females that “government is not some conspiracy or plot… government is us in a democracy.” He noted that when he ran for the White House “I didn’t say `Yes, I can!’” He said the emphasis was on WE.
He encouraged the women to organize, knock on doors and turn out the Democratic vote. Obama said if politicians “are not doing the right thing, we’ve got to vote the out.”
Crowd count: 526, courtesy of Jon E. Davenhall, senior food and beverage director, Hyatt. firstname.lastname@example.org, xxx-xxx-xxxx
Obama’s follow-on event is a DNC fundraiser/roundtable this evening. Details from DNC spox: On Friday, October 22 President Obama will attend a DNC Roundtable in Washington, DC with approximately 25 supporters contributing up to $33,400 a person. The event is hosted by the Women’s Leadership Forum.
DNC conference info … >http://www.democrats.org//page/womens-leadership-forum<
Founded in 1993, the mission of the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum is to uphold a viable women’s finance council as an integral part of the Democratic Party and to increase their engagement. The WLF is committed to maintaining a women’s outreach program by raising substantial resources, building political networks, and reaching women voters in 50 states.
Conference attendance Friday was projected by DNC to total approximately 600 (mostly) women. Speakers included Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and ex-presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee. No remarks from VP Biden.