SEATTLE, Wash. – He sent shock waves through the political world by announcing his support for same-sex marriage, but President Barack Obama made few references to his shift on the issue during two fundraisers here Thursday.
In fact, the most memorable line from either speech might have been on the economy.
“Sometimes people forget the magnitude of [the recession],” Obama said to 2,000 supporters at the Paramount Theater, his second event of the day. “Sometimes I forget. In the last six months of 2008, while we were campaigning, nearly three million Americans lost their jobs. Eight hundred thousand lost their jobs in the month that I took office. And it was tough. But the American people proved they were tougher,” he said.
The Romney campaign quickly pounced on the president’s suggestion that sometimes he “forgets” about the depths of the economic crisis.
“It’s not surprising that a president who forgot to create jobs, forgot to cut the debt, and forgot to change Washington has now admitted that he’s forgotten about the recession. In fact, it seems that the President has forgotten that he’s been in office for the last three-and-a-half years. In November, the American people won’t forget,” Romney spokesman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
But besides the perhaps inadvertent remark, the president’s Paramount Theater remarks adhered largely to the script he used at his first two campaign events in Ohio and Virginia last weekend.
“You should be able to give your kids the chance to do even better than you, no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, no matter your last name, no matter who you love,” he said there, making general remarks about economic fairness with only a slight allusion to same-sex unions.
Obama also praised the voters of Washington State for voting in a law legalizing same-sex marriage, which takes effect in June but may be challenged on a ballot measure in November.
“Here in Washington you'll have a chance to make your voice heard on the issue of making sure that everybody, regardless of sexual orientation is treated fairly," he said to raucous cheers.
Speaking earlier at an elaborate lakeside home in Seattle, the president focused his remarks on the progress he said his administration has made on the economy since he took office, staying far away from his record on gay rights.
“The good news is we've weathered the storm,” he told a room of about 70 supporters, who had each paid $17,900 to attend the event.
He told the attendees that he preferred to spend most of his time at private events like these answering questions, but the traveling press was escorted out of the home before he began, unable to hear whether any of the guests asked him what prompted to change his mind.
Following his Seattle appearances, the president went to Los Angeles where he spoke at a $40,000-per-person dinner at actor George Clooney’s Studio City home.