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Obama raises $4 million at SoCal fundraisers

April 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
President Barack Obama departed from LAX on Friday morning after staying the night at the Beverly Hilton. His two fundraisers in the Southland raised an estimated $4 million.

All proceeds from the events will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of the Democratic National Committee and Obama for America, his campaign committee.

Obama met with supporters in Brentwood at the Tavern restaurant, including Gov. Jerry Brown, director Steven Spielberg and actors Will Ferrell, Tom Hanks and George Clooney. Tickets were $35,800 apiece.

Earlier in the day, he was at Sony Pictures, where he was introduced by actor Jamie Foxx. Foxx rallied the crowd of about 2,500 before Obama took the stage.

Obama talked about some of the cornerstones of his reelection campaign - reducing the nation's reliance on foreign oil, cutting taxes and ending tax breaks for oil companies and the wealthiest two percent of Americans.

"We don't want to punish success, but what we do want is a society where if we're going to ask everybody to sacrifice a little bit, we don't just tell millionaires and billionaires, `Oh you don't have to do anything, you just go ahead and relax. Count your money,'" Obama said.

The president said he shared his supporters' frustrations over the pace of changes that he promised in 2008, but he told them that the country is moving in the right direction.

"I want you to think about all the progress we've already made, and I want you to think about all the unfinished business that lies ahead," he said to the cheering crowd. "I want you to be excited about the next 18 months, and then the next four years after that, and I want you to remind everybody else those simple words that summed up our campaign in 2008 and still sum up our spirit - yes we can."

The president's visit closed streets on the Westside to allow his motorcade to pass by. Drivers were delayed and detoured, but authorities say the backups were minor compared to Obama's visit last summer during rush hour.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.