In a speech aimed at generating voter turnout, President Barack Obama lamented that Democrats tend to "get clobbered" in midterm elections.
"During presidential elections, young people vote, women are more likely to vote, blacks, Hispanics more likely to vote," Obama said Thursday at a fundraiser in suburban Miami, according to Politico.
"But in midterms we get clobbered — either because we don't think it's important or we've become so discouraged about what's happening in Washington that we think it's not worth our while."
Obama spoke at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser at the home of basketball legend Alonzo Mourning and his wife Tracy. The group of about 75 people paid $16,000 to $32,000 to attend.
Obama added that political toxicity has caused Democratic voters to "lose faith, and finally they just say, 'You know what? I’m not interested. I’m not going to bother. I’m not going to vote.'"
The president said this November's elections could have major consequences for the party. Speaking alongside House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Obama said returning her to the position of House speaker and keeping Majority Leader Harry Reid in charge of the Senate are of utmost importance to Democrats.
"That's what's at stake," Obama said. "I'm just hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do."
Before introducing Obama, Tracy Mourning told a story about her modest upbringing and how her cleaning lady mother would say she struggled more when "those damned Republicans are in office."
Obama cited a "collective effort" in which society and government said, "You know what? Let's give you a hand up" as evidence of this country's greatness. Republicans, he said, do not share those same ideals.
"Unfortunately we've got on the other side folks who have a different vision of America," Obama said, according to The Miami Herald
. They believe "we don't have an obligation, at least to our government, to help. Everybody's just got to look out for themselves or to the community that you've built or your church or your synagogue or your block or your family."
Blocks from the Mourning home, protesters gathered with signs including one calling from the Obama to be impeached.
"He doesn't love this country," protester Jim Smith told CBS Miami
. "He wants to change it and that's the essence of why we're here."
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