SEATTLE -- President Barack Obama charged Sunday that the GOP vision of government would “fundamentally cripple America,” as he tried out his newly combative message on the liberal West Coast.
Aiming to renew the ardor of Democratic loyalists who have grown increasingly disenchanted with him, the president mixed frontal attacks on Republicans with words of encouragement intended to buck up the faithful as the 2012 campaign revs up.
“From the moment I took office what we’ve seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity,” the president said at an intimate brunch fundraiser at the Medina, Wash., home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley.
About 65 guests were paying $35,800 per couple to listen to Obama at the first of seven fundraisers he was holding from Seattle to Hollywood to San Diego on Sunday and today.
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The three-day West Coast swing, ending Tuesday in Denver, offered him the chance to re-engage with some of his most liberal and deep-pocketed supporters.
The trip comes as Obama has shifted from focusing on compromise with Republicans on Capitol Hill to calling out House Speaker John Boehner and others by name.
The president has criticized them as obstructionists while demanding their help in passing his $447 billion jobs bill.
Obama said 2012 would be an especially tough election because people are discouraged and disillusioned with government, but he also said he was determined because so much is at stake.
The GOP alternative, Obama said, is “an approach to government that will fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st century. And that’s not the kind of society that I want to leave to Malia and Sasha.”