By Chris Megerian
LOS ANGELES (AP) — At a pair of fundraisers here on Friday, President Joe Biden urged Democratic donors to send him reinforcements to Capitol Hill to keep Republicans out of power and help unseat his presidential agenda. current stalemate.
“We need two more senators,” Biden said at the second fundraiser, a reference to the senses. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, two members of the Democratic caucus he struggled to win over.
Without naming any of them, he said they “slow down what we are able to do”.
It will be tough for Democrats to clinch seats in this year’s midterm elections, and Republicans are poised to regain control of Congress.
But Biden described himself as an optimist as he urged donors to keep opening their wallets in support of his party. Each fundraiser raised about $2.5 million, according to a Democratic National Committee official.
The first was intimate, with a few dozen participants. It took place on the back patio of the home of Andrew Hauptman, a private investor. Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood producer, was also present.
The second fundraiser was held at the Muholland Drive estate of entertainment mogul Haim Saban. Dozens of donors sat under a tent that was erected on the property’s tennis court.
During the fundraiser there, Biden touted economic progress under his leadership, but admitted prices will likely continue to rise.
“We’re going to live with this inflation for a while,” he said. It will go down gradually, but we will live with it for a while.
Biden also spoke movingly about the toll of two recent gun massacres, in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.
He scoffed at the idea that teachers should be armed, noting how long it takes to train a soldier to use a gun.
Flaunting a gun with his fingers, he said, “It’s not easy to pick up a gun or a gun and blow someone’s brains out.”
At the first fundraiser, first lady Jill Biden addressed the president.
“He works as hard as he can,” she said. “We are going in the right direction.”
Biden spoke of rallying allies to support Ukraine, recalling how some people doubted US intelligence about Russia’s impending invasion.
“Zelenskyy didn’t want to hear it,” he said in reference to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Biden also appeared raw on some of the media coverage of the Summit of the Americas, held this week in Los Angeles. Many stories have focused on how some Latin American leaders, including the Mexican president, boycotted the summit, and others who attended gave speeches criticizing the United States’ handling of the event.
Speaking of the press, Biden said, “I wish they would come back and interview all the heads of state,” insisting that “there was overwhelming, overwhelming support” to work together.