Obama: Silicon Valley 'my stockholders'

President Obama made a series of campaign stops in California on Sunday designed to energize his base and rally support among technology industry executives, whom he referred to as his "stockholders" during an event at the home of Symantec CEO John Thompson.

Obama expressed comfort among the tech-savvy crowd and credited them with helping him get elected in 2008. He also took the opportunity to stump for his jobs bill and criticize congressional Republicans for the tone of rhetoric in Washington, as well as their emphasis on spending cuts over investment.

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"The people in this audience, some of you have been extraordinarily successful, and that’s what America is all about. We want everybody to thrive. We want everybody to succeed," Obama said.

"But we have to remind ourselves that the reason we’re successful is because somebody else made an investment in us," he added.

"Somewhere along the line, somebody made an investment in us either directly — people like myself getting college scholarships — or indirectly, because somebody invested in DARPA [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] a few years back."

Later, at the home of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Obama positioned himself and the Democratic Party as the defenders of science and innovation, contrasting that with what he termed "a cramped vision of what America can be."

"We're all committed to innovation and science, and a belief that if you unleash the skills and the talents of people, that it's possible for us to create an economy that is doing well but where prosperity is also broadly shared," Obama told an audience that paid $35,800 per couple.

"And those values are going to be tested in this election — the values of shared prosperity, being good stewards of the environment, making sure that we are investing in our kids, making sure that everybody has a shot. Those values are going to be tested," Obama said.

Obama closed by telling supporters that if they want to live in a fact-based society or a nation that prizes science and education, they should be out knocking on doors and making phone calls to help him win the 2012 election, which he said will be more important than his 2008 election.