By Perry Bacon Jr. and Cecilia Kang
PHILADELPHIA — President Obama raised more than $1.2 million at two campaign fundraisers here Thursday night, the last events of his money-raising blitz in this early stage of the 2012 campaign.
Campaign officials said about 800 people, each giving at least $100, attended the first event, at a Hyatt hotel. Later in the evening, Comcast’s executive vice president, David L. Cohen, hosted about 120 people in his home for a dinner, each of the attendees giving at least $10,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign.
Among the attendees were Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D). Dinner was arranged by restaurateur Stephen Starr, whose popular eateries include Morimoto and Buddakan.
Cohen, a longtime Democratic operative, has successfully sheparded the regulatory review of Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal earlier this year.
He is not the only high-tech or telecom executive to show early support for Obama’s reelection bid. In San Francisco last spring, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff hosted a fundraiser for the president in his home, and Google executive Marissa Mayer has hosted a reported $30,000-a-head Democratic fundraiser featuring Obama last October.
The money raised in Obama’s Philadelphia events will count toward the president’s total for the second quarter of 2011, the first three months of fundraising for his reelection campaign. His aides have said they are looking to raise more than $60 million during this period, which could be more than the entire Republican field combined.
In his remarks, Obama stuck largely to his usual campaign speeches, making little reference to the battle in Washington over raising the debt ceiling and reducing the long-term federal budget deficit.
“I’m prepared to bring our deficit down by trillions of dollars. That’s with a ‘t’ – trillions,” he said at the Hyatt. “But I will not reduce our deficit by sacrificing our kids’ education. I’m not going to reduce our deficit by eliminating medical research being done by our scientists. I won’t sacrifice rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our railways and our airports. I want Philadelphia to have the best, not the worst.”
Kang reported from Washington.