President Barack Obama was in New York City Monday, raising tens of thousands of dollars for Democrats to use in next year's midterm elections, funds that his party may need to fend of increasingly sharp attacks from Republicans. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
President Barack Obama got cheers in New York City Monday night, but it's in Washington where he really needs more love.
"The only thing that's holding us back is the spirit in Washington that isn't reflective of the spirit of the American people, a spirit in Washington that's more interested in game-playing than getting things done," Obama said.
The president wants to flip the House of representatives to fellow Democrats and retain hold of the U.S. Senate.
Not only would that improve chances his agenda gets passed, it would disarm Republican attempts from making the president's second term one dominated by scandal.
They have new ammunition.
The IRS admitted that it targeted conservative groups for audits, with the acting commissioner first learning about it a year ago.
Republicans also claim that Obama officials misled Americans about last September's attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
Before leaving for New York, Obama addressed both.
On the IRS, he promised to hold people accountable. On Libya, he accused Republicans of political theater.
Chuck Schumer, New York's senior senator, said that the president can't get distracted.
"He should not let the diversions of Benghazi and IRS divert him," Schumer said. "Those have to be looked into, but they should not divert him from focusing on what America needs, which is a boost for the middle class."
Democrats also need a boost in fundraising. Obama may have won in November, but the election drained the Democratic National Committee of all its funds.
Those who shelled out as much as $32,000 to hear Obama Monday night included stars like Justin Timberlake.
The president sounded far more subdued than when he raised money here as a presidential candidate, even as he took a dig across the aisle.
"They've got a different point of view right now," he said.
There's no word yet when Obama will be back. He's promised Democrats to help them win in next year's midterm elections. And he knows that in New York, he can jet in and out in only a few hours, with party bank accounts a lot flusher.