President Obama returned to Los Angeles on Saturday for a quick fundraising swing, starting with an afternoon roundtable discussion at the Pacific Palisades home of J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath.
The event raised money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, with tickets priced at $33,400 per person, the maximum allowed per year to a party committee.
Obama landed at LAX just before 1 p.m. and, perhaps mindful of potential traffic tie-ups even on a Saturday, landed at Will Rogers State Park.
Later, Obama attended an event at another Pacific Palisades home of Ed and Robin Berman where Jamie Foxx will perform. Tickets to the fundraiser start at $1,000 per person, with proceeds going to the Democratic Hope Fund, which raised money for Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee. Among those attending were Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon.
Obama talked about some of his accomplishments, including a falling unemployment rate and a rebound of the auto industry, but he said that the “bad news” is that “we’ve got a Congress that is broken,” according to a pool report. He said that “if you have been reading the papers the last few days you’ve got a pretty good sense that it is broken,” referring to the decision by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to drop out of the race for Speaker of the House.
“We have idealogues that unless they get 100% of what they want, they are willing to burn down the house,” he said.
He also talked about meeting with the families of nine victims killed in a mass shooting last week at a community college in Oregon. That day, Obama spoke at the White House for the need for gun legislation and called on voters to take into account a candidate’s position on gun violence legislation when casting their ballot.
“I came away feeling just as strongly as I did the day it happened,” he said at the fundraiser, the fundraiser, per a pool report. “…This is a choice we make. This is not inevitable.”
He finished his time in L.A. with a $10,000-per-person event at the home of designer Michael Smith, with proceeds also going to the Democratic Hope Fund. Smith’s partner, former HBO executive James Costos, is U.S. ambassador to Spain. About 50 people attended.
He repeated his points about a dysfunctional, GOP-controlled Congress.
“I will tell you at this moment in history, the choices are stark,” Obama said. “And facts, evidence and values are on our side. And the other side has gone off the deep end.
Obama attended a fundraiser earlier Saturday in San Francisco, where Kanye West performed. The president took the opportunity to give West some advice about his presidential run.
Obama is scheduled to fly to San Diego later in the evening.