President Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for same-sex marriage at two Manhattan campaign events Monday, as he raked in around $3 million for his re-election efforts. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
With his trip to New York Monday, President Barack Obama sought to energize a number of his true believers. He appealed to women and youth voters with his commencement speech at Barnard College and his visit to the TV show "The View."
He also attended a fundraiser hosted by gay and Latino advocates and then went to a second fundraiser hosted by Wall Street financiers.
"That’s what makes New York perfect, right? Any demographic you want or need is right here," said Christina Greer of Fordham University. "So if you’re trying to get working-class voters, you can definitely find them in New York. If you’re trying to get voters that can afford $38,000 for a plate, you can find them in New York."
Many of those big-ticket donors turned out for an afternoon fundraiser at the Rubin Museum in Chelsea, an event co-hosted by openly gay singer Ricky Martin and attended by a number of gay activists.
Obama made a point there of emphasizing his support of same-sex marriage, which he announced just last week.
"I want everybody treated fairly in this country. We have never gone wrong when we expanded rights and responsibilities to everyone. That doesn’t weaken families, that strengthens families," Obama said.
Whether his stance on gay marriage helps or hurts Obama at the polls, it has certainly motivated many supporters to open their wallets.
"I know people that just stopped off the side of the road and just started to write a check or went online or did stuff. It just woke a lot of people up," said one supporter of the president.
"I think that over the past three years, his support for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, for not defending DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act], for doing the other things to benefit gay and lesbian Americans, has certainly opened my wallet," said another. "Every time something happens, I turn to my husband and say, 'That's going to cost us some more money.'"
Obama's final stop of the evening was a smaller fundraiser at the private home of financier Tony James, president of the Blackstone Group. The president's total take from the two events was expected to top $3 million.