CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) — Adding a touch of politics to his vacation, President Barack Obama on Monday urged Democrats to campaign aggressively for the next 80 days to elect presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying “if we do not do our jobs, then it’s still possible for her to lose.”
“When I say do our jobs, what I mean is we are going to have to continue to be engaged, we are going to continue to have to write checks, we are going to continue to have to make phone calls and rally people behind her candidacy,” Obama said.
He also urged the Democratic donors at a Clinton fundraiser to help counter an “unrelenting negative campaign” against the former secretary of state “that has made a dent in the opinion of people even who are inclined to vote for her.”
Clinton’s standing among voters has suffered from perceptions that she is dishonest, along with her use of a private email server when she ran the State Department and the appearance of conflicts of interest between the department when she was in charge and her family foundation.
“We have to be aggressive in our campaign for 80 days, and that’s not a lot,” Obama said. “But when you think about the stakes, there’s nothing more important” than electing Clinton to continue the economic and other progress he described under his leadership.
Democrats Hank Goldberg and his wife, Carol Brown Goldberg, hosted the event at their home in Chilmark, the same town where the president is renting a vacation home. About 60 Obama and Clinton supporters paid between $10,000 and $33,400 to attend the event that was held in a tent on the sprawling property. Servers wore white aprons that said, “Thank You, President Obama.”
The proceeds will benefit Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties across the country.
Obama pointedly did not mention Donald Trump, Clinton’s Republican opponent, by name and said he’s tired of talking about the New York businessman he earlier this month dismissed as “unfit to serve.”
“I don’t have to make the case against her opponent because every time he talks he makes the case against his own candidacy,” Obama said.
The president said his wife, Michelle, is “very strict” about him actually being on vacation when he goes on vacation. But, he said, “she gave me special dispensation for this evening because she understands, just as all of you understand, how important this is.”
Obama is expected to campaign aggressively for Clinton in the fall run-up to the Nov. 8 elections.
Clinton did not join Obama at the fundraiser. Earlier Monday, she made her first campaign appearance with Vice President Joe Biden in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, a state both she and Trump are competing to win.