By Kevin Bogardus - 10/24/10 12:00 AM EDT
President Obama said Saturday that Democrats have more work to do to help get the struggling economy back on track.
Speaking at a fundraiser with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in Minneapolis, Obama said in his almost two years in the White House, Democrats have helped steady the economy but more still needs to be done.
The president blamed the prior administration for the economic struggles the country is now experiencing. He called the September 2008 financial sector meltdown "really the culmination of what some would call the lost decade."
"We had left too many challenges untended to," Obama said.
He praised Pelosi, saying she "will go down in history as one of the finest speakers in the United States of America."
Obama also had kind words for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Chris is working like a dog. I want to make sure everybody knows what a good job he's doing," Obama said.
Obama had stumped for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton earlier at a University of Minnesota rally. "Everybody else in this race might be talking about change; here's the only candidate who can actually deliver change," Obama said.
He also rallied the party faithful that comprised the screaming crowd.
"It looks like you're kind of fired up. And I need you fired up," he said. "Power concedes nothing without a fight."
Before the president spoke to Democratic donors at the DCCC event after the rally, Pelosi introduced him and also praised Obama.
"He has set the standard for us. We will measure our success by the progress that is made for America's working families," said the House speaker. "He more than meets his own test."
Pelosi said the importance of the upcoming midterm elections increases every day. She partly blamed outside spending by Republican-leaning groups for Democrats' election-year troubles.
"Everything was going great and all of a sudden secret money from God knows where — because they won't disclose it — is pouring in," Pelosi said.
She predicted Democrats would be successful come November, though.
"When the public knows the choice, we think that we will win — we know," Pelosi said.