Begin forwarded message:
From: "Davis, Julie" >
Date: October 24, 2016 at 12:24:43 PM PDT
To: "Velz, Peter" >
Subject: Travel pool report #3, 10/23/16 -- La Jolla fundraiser remarks
President Obama emerged from the house at 11:29 a.m. to cheers from the crowd. He spoke for 32 minutes, making a pitch to the donors about the high stakes of the election and the need not just to elect Hillary Clinton, but to pummel Donald Trump in a way that would send a message about the country's values and sweep Democrats to victory so she would have the same kind of governing majority he did during his first two years in office. Please check all quotes against transcript.
"The good news is that at the moment the polls show that Hilary is enjoying a lead," POTUS said, but he added that the "volatile" nature of race meant that "we can't take anything for granted. There are a lot of states like Ohio and Floria that are way too close to call," he said adding that it was important to "make sure that people actually turn out to vote."
"This is one of these moments when we can't afford to sit back and just assume that everything is going to work itself out," he said.
After listing off Clinton's attributes and calling her the most qualified ever to seek the presidency, Obama said: "Then theres the other guy...I'm not going to belabor why this other guy is not qualified to hold this office, because every time he talks you get more proof."
Stakes of the election, and why FLOTUS has gotten involved_
"Some of you might be aware that Michelle does not really love politics. This was not her first choice for me. She would have preferred a quieter life ...but the passion that she's brought to campaigning this time speaks to the degree that this election is different, the choice is different."
"I always felt as if John McCain and Mitt Romney were basically honorable people, I always felt as if, push come to shove, they would do the right thing if they ended up occupying the position of president. I wasn't concerned about the republic if they had won."
"Part of the reason Michelle's working the way she is is because she understands, as I understand that some more fundamental values are at stake in this election. It has to do with our basic standards of decency: how do we treat people, do we treat people of a different faith as part of the fabric of America or do we label them as something foreign, not a real American ... do we think of women as equal and full citizens capable of doing anything, or do we think of them of objects of our scorn or lust or our own satisfaction. Do we think of the Constitution as something fundamental that all of us have an obligation to try to uphold or do we think that it's just something that we can pick and choose from at our convenience depending on what's expedient. Do we think that government is something serious....or do we think that it's an infomercial or a reality TV show and we can say anything or do anything without any fidelity to the truth."
"America's great, America can survive anything, but what America cannot have for any prolonged period of time is to have the person who is the only elected official elected by all the people of the United States and who speaks on behalf of this nation in world affairs as a fundamentally unserious person, and somebody whose standards of ethics and tolerance in how they treat otherpeople is corrosive. We can't have that."
On winning big:
POTUS said it was important for Democrats "not just to make sure that Hillary wins, but to make sure she wins big, to send a clear message about who we are as a people...We want to win big. We don't just want to eke it out, particularly when the other guy's already started to gripe about how the game is rigged."
On pushing back on the GOP's argument that people should vote for them as a check against a Clinton presidency:
"Let me just translate that for you," he said, saying it was code for obstruction. "It is really important that we push back and defeat this argument that somehow, the duely elected president of the United States should simply be blocked from doing anything by the opposition party. ... They're counting on people thinking that gridlock is the best we can do, because that plays to their basic philosophy" that government has no role in helping people.... They're ok with gridlock, but you know what, we can do so much better than that."
He closed by imploring the guests to work hard during the next two weeks:
"If you are not doing every single thing that you can, if you don't think this is the highest priority of concern to your family, and your children and grandchildren, then you haven't been paying attention," POTUS said. If they do, he added, "Hillary's going to be alright, and we're going to have a Democratic Congress, and we're going to get stuff done."
And they will be able to look back and say, "this was the moment when America chose its best and not its worst self."
On tables on the edges of the patio, tables are arranged with a brunch spread on trays featuring scones, mini quiches, cups of salad and yogurt. In the middle of the tables, there are large flower arrangements of magenta orchids and orange birds of paradise in hammered metal bowls. Guests are seated on wooden chairs with white cushions.
At 12:11, the motorcade rolled from the house.
Julie Hirschfeld Davis
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
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(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx direct