President Barack Obama, seeking to raise at least $2.4 million, turned to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and other entertainment industry leaders for help funding his re-election campaign.
At the second of two events in Connecticut last night, Weinstein and his wife, Georgina Chapman, held a $35,800-a-head dinner at their Westport home.
The dinner for 60 was co-hosted by American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and actresses Anne Hathaway and Joanne Woodward, according to Obama’s campaign. Wintour, a top bundler for Obama, was co-host for another fundraiser in New York in June.
The president is trying to narrow a money gap as Republican Mitt Romney and party committees aligned with him have outraised Obama and the Democrats for three consecutive months.
“On a whole host of issues, you’ve got very stark differences,” Obama told a small group at Weinstein’s white, colonial-style home abutting the Long Island Sound. “The good news is that you guys are the tie-breaker. You and the American people.”
Donors in the television, music and movie business have given $3.2 million to Obama, compared with $483,112 to Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, which tracks campaign finance.
The Right Thing
Weinstein introduced Obama, saying he has “led with his heart to do the right thing.”
“This president has fought the good fight,” Weinstein said, citing Obama’s success in killing Osama Bin Laden and passing the 2010 health-care law.
Obama appeared at the star-studded event after speaking at a fundraising reception about 15 miles away at the Stamford Marriott. Tickets there for about 500 people started at $500 a person.
At the first fundraiser, Obama told a crowded ballroom that tax cuts for the wealthy are “the centerpiece” of Romney’s economic plan.
“It’s like Robin Hood in reverse,” Obama said. “It’s Romney Hood.”
Romney and other Republicans “have tried to sell us this trickle-down, tax-cut fairy dust before and guess what: It does not work,” Obama said.
“There’s only one candidate in this race who’s going to raise taxes on the American people, and that’s Barack Obama,” said Ryan Williams, a Romney campaign spokesman, in a statement. “While he’s used taxpayer dollars to grow government and reward his donors, middle-class Americans have seen fewer jobs, lower incomes and less hope for the future.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes and Chris Murphy also attended Obama’s Stamford event. All are Connecticut Democrats and Murphy is running for the Senate.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat and former Stamford mayor attended both events. This was Obama’s fifth trip to Connecticut since taking office and his first this year.
Figures released by both campaigns yesterday showed Romney and the Republicans brought in more than $101.3 million in July, and Obama and Democratic committees raised more than $75 million.
While Obama’s campaign committee has raised more money than Romney’s committee, the former Massachusetts governor’s fundraising edge in the last three months comes from the joint committee that can take in much larger donations than the individual campaigns.
Through June 30, the Obama campaign committee alone raised more than $307 million and Romney’s committee raised more than $156 million. July figures are due at the Federal Election Commission by Aug. 20.
Romney spent yesterday meeting with senior staff at his lakeside vacation home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, amid mounting speculation over his vice presidential pick.
Photographers snapped pictures of Romney running errands, stopping to buy groceries and what he described to reporters as “hardware stuff.” He emerged from Hunters Shop ’n Save carrying cases of Diet Coke, Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi and Poland Spring bottled water. When asked whether the beverages were for meetings with potential vice presidential picks, Romney laughed and said, “I’ve got some folks coming over.”
Romney is scheduled to campaign today in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and hold a fundraising event in Chicago.