By Justin Sink
President Obama blasted House Republicans for having "stubbornly refused" to address comprehensive immigration reform while attending a fundraiser outside of San Diego on Thursday.
"Republicans so far at least haven’t been willing to step up," Obama said. "To their credit some in the Senate have, but the House Republicans have stubbornly refused to even allow a vote on the issue."
The semiconductor and telecommunications firm has been among the most aggressive proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, arguing it would allow their company to better attract and retain high-skilled immigrants.
"A majority of American people think we should reform a broken immigration system that can help reduce our deficits, create more growth, create more innovation, and even as we are securing our borders and making sure we’re a nation of laws, we’re also reminding ourselves we’re a nation of immigrants," Obama said.
The president's discussion on immigration was couched in a broader indictment of Congress, which Obama accused of "an utter failure to address the concerns of ordinary middle class families."
The president said that congressional inaction "reinforces people’s sense that there’s no point in getting involved at all."
"It increases apathy [and] a lack of confidence in our government," he added.
Obama also voiced his concern that Democratic voters wouldn't turn out for the 2014 midterms, an off-year when his party's turnout is usually depressed.
"Democrats have a general disease: We get really excited about presidential elections and then, during midterms, we fall asleep," Obama said. "And partly it’s the nature of our voters. We’re disproportionately young, disproportionately minority, disproportionately working class. Folks are busy; they’ve got a lot of stuff going on, and we tend to drop off during midterms."
The president's stop in San Diego was the first of three consecutive technology-themed fundraisers slated for Thursday. Later in the day, he planned to attend a fundraiser at the Silicon Valley home Anne Wojcicki, the founder of personal-genomics startup 23andMe, followed by an event hosted by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Sam Altman and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
Earlier Thursday, Obama hosted a high-dollar round-table discussion with Democratic donors at the Beverly Hilton.