Obama Gives Gates Nod on Job Creation at Campaign Fundraiser

President Barack Obama noted U.S. job growth at a fundraiser in Washington state and joked that two of the guests, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) co-founder Jeff Brotman, deserve some credit.

“This month we saw 250,000 jobs created, I’m sure some of it had to do with Microsoft or Costco,” Obama said, drawing laughter from the 65 guests at the home of Brotman and his wife, Susan, in Medina.

Obama also cited Gates in arguing the U.S. needs to invest in research on alternative energy sources because “we need a massive technological breakthrough.”

Obama is on the final leg of a three-day West Coast swing that the campaign expects to raise more than $8 million. He raised more than $6 million from California donors and is expected to raise at least $1.6 million at two events in Washington today.

Tickets for the lunch cost $17,900. He’s also going to a reception in Bellevue, Washington, where tickets start at $1,000.

Obama bookended his West Coast fundraising with remarks about bringing jobs back to the U.S. at a Master Lock Co. factory in Milwaukee on Feb. 15 and today at a Boeing Co. (BA) factory in Everett, Washington.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Seattle via kandersen7@bloomberg.net; Susanna Ray in Seattle at sray7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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