MINNEAPOLIS — At a fundraiser Friday, President Obama said he's hopeful that Republicans will snap out of their "fever" and cooperate with him after he wins re-election in November.
"I believe that if we're successful in this election, when we're successful in this election, that the fever may break, because there's a tradition in the Republican Party of more common sense than that," Mr. Obama told supporters at a $5,000-per-person event, the first of six fundraisers on the day that are expected to raise well over $5 million.
The president told the intimate gathering in a restaurant owned by the sons of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton that the GOP has been far more radical than in 2008, when he defeated Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
"John McCain believed in climate change," the president said. "John believed in campaign finance reform. He believed in immigration reform. There were some areas where you saw some overlap."
Nowadays, he said, the Republican Party "has moved in a fundamentally different direction. The center of gravity for their party has shifted."
He criticized GOP lawmakers for what he said was a strategy of trying to defeat his re-election at any cost.
"My hope, my expectation, is that after the election, now that it turns out that the goal of beating Obama doesn't make much sense because I'm not running again, that we can start getting some cooperation again," Mr. Obama said.
The president is holding three fundraisers in Minneapolis before flying to Chicago for three more. Minnesota is relatively safe territory for him; he is running about 10 points ahead of GOP nominee Mitt Romney in most polls.
The other fundraisers in Minneapolis were closed to the press, and involved smaller groups of supporters who contributed $40,000 or $50,000 to the Obama re-election campaign and other Democratic Party organizations.
On a day when the government released a dismal new jobs report, showing that the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent, Mr. Obama said his race will be close because of the weak economy, not because Republicans have any good ideas. He said they don't.
"This is going to be a very close race," Mr. Obama said. "It's going to be close because there's a lot of folks out there who are having a tough time."
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