President Barack Obama says European leaders can forestall dissolution of the euro by taking prompt, “decisive steps” to solve their debt crisis.
“I don’t think ultimately that the Europeans will let the Euro unravel, but they are going to have to take some decisive steps,” Obama told a $40,000 per-plate fundraiser at the NoMad hotel in New York City yesterday. “And I am spending an enormous amount of time, trying to work with them. The sooner that they take some decisive action, the better off we are going to be.”
Obama told the donors, including members of the financial services community, their taxes must rise to help provide $1.5 trillion in revenue to put the country’s fiscal future on solid footing. He added that he wouldn’t be asking them for any more money after this political campaign. “Fortunately, I’m about to graduate, so this is it, guys,” he said.
When an audience member asked him if he would be calling to solicit funds for a future presidential library, Obama said, “Someone else will make that call.”
The event, attended by 60 people, was hosted by Marc Lasry, founder of Avenue Capital Group LLC, Roger Altman, chairman and founder of Evercore Partners, Inc., and Mark Gallogly, a managing principal of Centerbridge Partners.
Obama said he is confident he would win the election if it “were held today.” Still, he expressed concern about being outspent and warned of the millions of dollars Republican political action committees are funneling into campaign ads to defeat him.
Earlier yesterday, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced that former President Bill Clinton will place Obama’s name in formal nomination for re-election at the party’s convention. Clinton will be preceded by Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren on the second night of a three-day convention.
Clinton will nominate Obama on Sept. 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina, during a prime-time speech on the economy, according to an announcement by convention organizers. The former two-term president remains one of the most popular and unifying Democratic figures, and his high-profile role at the convention signals an effort to pull out all stops in the battle against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“There is no better validator for the Obama middle-class economic policies than President Clinton,” said Democratic strategist Paul Begala, a former Clinton adviser. “He can make the case for President Obama in a powerful, persuasive fashion.”
Biden to Speak
Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak on Sept. 6, the night Obama formally accepts the nomination. That evening will have the highest number of television viewers.
Biden “will give a first-hand testament to the president’s focus on doing what is right for the country, not what is politically popular,” Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention chairman and mayor of Los Angeles, said in a statement.
Clinton’s prominent role means “the president recognizes that he needs everybody to do whatever they can” to win the November election, said Pat Griffin, associate director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington and Clinton’s former chief lobbyist in Congress.
Clinton was president during a time of economic expansion and budget surpluses from 1998 to 2001.
Republicans will hold their convention to nominate Romney in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 27-30. Romney has collected more than $9 million from the investment and securities industry, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics. Obama has amassed $3.4 million, hurt by comments about “fat cat bankers” and an advertising campaign against Romney’s private-equity record.
The Democratic Party yesterday took the first step toward endorsing gay marriage as party platform drafters recommended including such a provision among its 2012 positions, said a spokesman for Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank.
The drafting subcommittee, which met in Minneapolis last weekend, included the marriage equality plank in its recommendations to the full platform committee, said Eric Orner, a spokesman for Frank, a member of the drafting panel. It has been almost three months since Obama said in an ABC News interview that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
-- With assistance by James Rowley in Washington. Editors: Steven Komarow, Jim Rubin.