ABC News’ Karen Travers and Rachel Martin report:
Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser tonight, President Obama touted his administration’s tax cuts and said that the recent tea party rallies across the nation have “amused” him.
“You would think they should be saying thank you,” the president said to applause.
Members of the audience shouted, “Thank you.”
An exuberant Obama appeared at a fundraiser for the DNC at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The event raised $2.5 million for the party.
The president’s 30-minute speech included a lot of recycled material from previous fundraisers like this, but he did reference this week’s special election in Florida, won by a Democrat, and the fight for financial regulatory reform.
Speaking about the upcoming battle over financial regulatory reform, Obama said that every member of Congress is going to have to make a choice that is “very simple, between special interests and the American people.”
Obama noted that the lobbyists and special interests are prepared to fight to defeat this legislation.
“It’s like throwing a piece of meat in a piranha tank,” the president said. “They’re going to race to see how fast they can tear it apart.”
Obama referenced the Florida Democratic state Sen. Ted Deutch’s victory in Tuesday’s special election to replace Rep. Robert Wexler, a Democrat who is retiring. To loud applause from the crowd, Obama tempered the reaction: “Let’s not get too excited," he said. "It’s a Democratic district.”
The president said that Republicans were saying this would a referendum on him, the Recovery Act and the recently passed health care legislation.
“Maybe it was,” he said to laughter and applause.
“Here’s what I think: I think if we stay true to our principles, if we do what’s right for the American people, then elections will take care of themselves,” Obama said.
In a nod to Vice President Biden, the president acknowledged the crowd for their help getting health care reform across the finish line.
“As my vice president said, 'This is a big deal,'" Obama said to laughter, even though he omitted the one key word to that infamous quote from his No. 2. "And he was right."
That earned the president a “Go Joe Biden!” from a man in the crowd.
-Karen Travers and Rachel Martin