“If you have a senator or a congressman in a swing district who is prepared to take a tough vote … on immigration reform, or legislation around background checks for guns, I want to make sure that they feel supported and that they know that there are constituencies of theirs who agree with them, even if they may be getting a lot of pushback in that district,” he declared to the roughly 70 attending donors who are fueling his unprecedented group, dubbed Organizing For Action.
“If we do it well, then I’m confident that we can move strong immigration legislation … we can get common-sense gun safety legislation … we can craft a budget that is responsible,” he declared.
The group’s support — and pressure — could also be aimed at Democratic politicians worried about supporting his agenda, he hinted. Throughout his speech, he deflected growing bipartisan criticism over his group, which is accepting money from wealthy donors — although not from company accounts or from people who have registered as lobbyists.
That criticism has come from Common Cause, Democracy 21, the Washington Post editors, some reporters, and other liberal groups. But the protests have not prompted any Democratic legislators, judges or regulators to set curbs on the president’s meeting with his donors, or on his government decisions, which could help or hurt those donors.
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