Beaten in the money chase by Republican challenger Mitt Romney for the third straight month, President Obama on Monday turned again to one of the Democratic Party’s most lucrative and reliable sources of campaign cash — Hollywood.
But instead of flying all the way to Southern California, the president settled for a shorter trip Monday evening to the $15 million beachfront Connecticut estate of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for a $35,800-per-person fundraiser with a guest list that included screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin and actress Anne Hathaway, star of the new Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight Rises.” Mr. Obama also planned a larger campaign event for about 500 people at a hotel in Stamford, Conn., where tickets start at $500 each.
The quick trip was projected to raise about $2.5 million for the president’s re-election fund and for other Democratic Party campaign war chests.
At the fundraiser in Stamford, Mr. Obama ridiculed Mr. Romney’s tax-cut plan, saying a nonpartisan think tank had found that the plan would raise taxes on the middle class and cut taxes for the wealthy.
“It’s like Robin Hood in reverse,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s Romney-hood.” The crowd laughed and cheered.
Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, raised more money with the national party committee than Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee in July, $101.3 million to $75 million. It was the third consecutive month that Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee out-raised the Obama campaign and the DNC.
The Republican has been winning the money race in Connecticut, too, although Mr. Obama is well ahead in the polls there. Mr. Romney has raised more than $4.8 million from Connecticut residents, compared with $2.9 million for Mr. Obama, according to Federal Election Commission records. In a Quinnipiac University poll in June, the president led Mr. Romney in Connecticut by 12 points, 50 percent to 38 percent.
Mr. Weinstein is a longtime supporter of Democratic candidates, including Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary against Mr. Obama. He was a guest at the White House in March for a state dinner honoring British Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr. Weinstein’s wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, is British.
Mr. Obama’s cozy relations with Hollywood have even included the president pitching a movie to Mr. Weinstein earlier this year. The president sent Mr. Weinstein a spy novel he had read and suggested that Mr. Weinstein make a movie about it. The film producer said Mr. Obama was “the most overqualified book scout I’ve ever had.”
The couple’s Westport home has about 8,900 square feet and 8½ bathrooms.
The president is leaning heavily on Hollywood and other celebrities for campaign donations this year. In May, shortly after Mr. Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage, he raised about $15 million at the Los Angeles home of actor George Clooney. In June, he held a high-end fundraiser at the New York City home of “Sex and the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker, co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour. And actor Morgan Freeman has donated $1 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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