President Obama took aim at the Republican presidential field on Sunday, telling attendees at a California fundraiser that the 2012 election will be “a contest of values.”
"Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republicans but are puzzled by what's happened to that party," Obama told 350 supporters at a speech at a private home in Woodside, Calif.
"I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately?" Obama continued. "You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change." The audience applauded the president’s swipe at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, one of the leading Republican presidential candidates.
Obama also criticized audience behavior at the two most recent debates. "You've got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they're gay," he said.
Later, the president quoted "my friend Joe Biden," saying: “Don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative."
Obama told attendees to work for him if they believe in a "fact-based" America. He said his supporters should talk to friends and neighbors who read The Wall Street Journal or watch Fox News, and “push back” against the "inadequate information" conveyed by those news outlets.
The Woodside event was one of four Democratic National Committee-organized fundraisers on the West Coast that Obama held on Sunday.