According to a pool report, Obama noted that some of the GOP contenders vow to talk tough with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “They say, when I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out … And then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators,” Obama said.
“If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”
The DNC event was tied to a performance of “Hamilton,” the hit Broadway musical that is a hip-hop take on the life of Alexander Hamilton and has won praise from many D.C. politicos.
Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama saw the musical earlier this year, although he did not see it again on Monday.
“What’d I miss?” Obama said after taking the stage following the show, according to the pool report. That was a reference to the title of a song sung in the musical by the character of Thomas Jefferson.
He added, “I am annoyed that I did not get to see this show again. Michelle and I love this show. It also happens to be the only thing Dick Cheney and I agree on … that is a cultural landmark.”
Cheney has also seen the show.
Obama said that the musical “reminds us of the vital, crazy, kinetic energy that is at the heart of America. That people who have a vision and set of ideals can transform the world. That has always been true.”
Among those at the fundraiser were Kerry Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Martin Scorsese and Scarlett Johansson.