Obama: Shutdown ‘was about more than just health care’

President Obama told donors at a New York City fundraiser that this month’s government shutdown “was about more than just health care.”

“It was about sort of a contrast in visions, what our obligations are to each other. And we've got the better side of that argument, one that's truer to our history,” Obama said. “But we're going to have to continue to push."

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The president was speaking to a crowd of about 60 attendees, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). Ticket prices for the event, held in an Upper East Side mansion, cost $16,200 per person.

The president heralded Pelosi as an “outstanding leader” and said Democrats were untiled in a belief that “government has a role to play” in ensuring that everyone was treated “fairly.”

“Part of what the debate and battle has been about over the last several years is what role we have as a country, collectively, to create the platform" to allow people to succeed, Obama said.

Specifically, Obama said he would fight to finish immigration reform and pass a budget that “reflects our priorities” by the end of the year.

Not doing so, Obama said, would mean lawmakers were “not true to the vision that allowed a lot of us to be in a room like this, even though we weren't born in a room like this. So the stakes are high."

The event at the home of Karen Mehiel, the wife of Westchester businessman Dennis Mehiel, was the first of at least eight fundraising events over the next five weeks for House and Senate Democrats. Later Friday night, the president attended a closed-press event at the Upper West Side home of hedge fund founder and biochemist David Shaw.