NEW YORK, N.Y. – Raising money among NBA players – who are no strangers to trash talk -- President Barack Obama took some shots at Republican Congressman Todd Akin, whose controversial remarks on rape Obama said were indicative of the Republican Party’s position as a whole.
Speaking at a $20,000-per-person dinner set up on the stage of Alice Tully Hall, Obama noted that the attendees, which included Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Carmelo Anthony, “have been paying attention to the commentary of the senator from Missouri, Mr. Akin.”
“The interesting thing here is that this is an individual who sits on the House committee on science and technology but somehow missed science class,” Obama said as his audience laughed.
“But it’s representative of a desire to go backwards instead of forwards. And fights that we thought were settled 20, 30 years ago,” he continued, linking Akin to a political party whose mainstream members, including Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have disowned him.
Besides a few sharp political jabs, Obama tailored his speech to his hoops-loving crowd, likening this election, in which the candidates are neck-and-neck, to a close game.
“I can't resist a basketball analogy,” Obama said. “We are in the fourth quarter, we're up by a few points but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty,” he said as the crowd laughed.
“We’ve got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. We’ve got a couple of injuries and I believe they’ve got one last run in them,” he continued, describing what he thought of his opponent Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Obama also suggested he was taking some advice from Jordan, who introduced the president at the event.
“Michael's competitiveness is legendary. And nobody knows better than Michael that if you’ve got a little bit of a lead and there’s about seven minutes to go, that’s when you put ’em away,” Obama said.
“You don't let up! That's how the Bulls won six,” he said, alluding to the number of championships the Chicago Bulls won in eight years – which, incidentally, is how long Obama hopes to be in office by 2016.The basketball-themed fundraising continued Wednesday night as Obama sped five blocks to the Jazz at Lincoln Center complex, where he hosted the “Obama Classic” shoot-around.