Obama campaign tries to capitalize on feisty press conference

President Obama's reelection campaign is highlighting an animated appearance Obama made on Wednesday in which he castigated Republicans on resistance to tax changes in debt-ceiling increase negotiations.

"If you missed it, the President held a press conference earlier this week. The last few minutes were really something special," Obama's reelection campaign manager, Jim Messina, wrote in email to Obama supporters. "It's a good reminder of why we're fighting so hard to get him re-elected."

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On Wednesday an animated Obama strongly called for Republicans to join him in seeking to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, as well as agreeing to close tax subsidies for oil-and-gas companies. He also criticized Republicans for refusing to agree to any tax increases as part of a debt-ceiling increase compromise — a divisive point between Republicans and Democrats in the negotiations.

At the presser, Obama challenged the idea that it's radical to raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires."

“I don’t think that’s real radical,” Obama said on Wednesday. “I think the majority of Americans agree with that.”

In response Democrats praised Obama's performance at the presser while Republicans condemned it.

"Bravo!" House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement. "This is the fight House Democrats have been making for the last six months under the Republican majority as they move to end Medicare and continue tax breaks for Big Oil."

Pelosi's statement implied that Obama had not previously been so animated in making those arguments.

In the same email, Messina reported that more than 475,000 people contributed to Obama's reelection campaign in the first quarter, but did not mention specific fundraising numbers.

"More than 475,000 people decided to own a piece of this campaign in just our first quarter — a promising sign of what's to come if we all stay focused and work together," Messina wrote.