Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTo Build Back Better, improving Black women's health is a must Rahm Emanuel has earned M since leaving Chicago's city hall: report 60 years after the Peace Corps, service still brings Americans together MORE on Tuesday blamed Republicans for "sitting on the
sidelines" and not working across the aisle, even as he asked for "eight
or 10" of them to join him on immigration reform.
The president, speaking at a fundraiser in San Francisco, lashed out at Republican senators just hours after meeting with them on Capitol Hill, a meeting described by some participants as "testy."
On immigration, Obama told the crowd that during the meeting he told Republicans to "meet me a quarter of the way."
“You don’t even have to meet me halfway," Obama said he told Republicans. "I’ll bring most Democrats on these issues. I’m just looking for eight or ten of you.”
Obama lamented the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, declaring: "“The day has passed when I expected this to be a full partnership.”
The president announced Tuesday afternoon he was sending 1,200 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
But on Tuesday
night, Obama said he told the GOP that "It’s not enough just to talk
about National Guard down at the border.”
“I’ll be with you, but you’ve got to meet me on solving the problem long-term," Obama said.
The president said he was "sympathetic" to Republicans whose base, he said, doesn't leave them "room for cooperation."
“There are members of their base who think if somebody even smiles at me, they think ‘You’re a traitor; you smiled at Obama,'" the president said.
Obama told a liberal crowd that he has proved he is willing to make politically risky decisions that at times might have hurt him with his liberal base.
“Some of the things I’ve done you guys are unhappy with,” Obama said. “But what I said to them [Senate Republicans] is if I’m comfortable with making decisions that aren’t always comfortable for me politically I need you to make some decisions that aren’t always comfortable for you politically. If they can do that we can get immigration reform done. And it needs to be done.”
Obama was raising money for Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFormer California senator prods Feinstein to consider retirement Trump decries 'defund the police' after Boxer attacked Former Sen. Barbara Boxer attacked in California MORE (D-Calif.) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
The president spoke twice before attending a fundraiser at a private home. The events were expected to raise about $1.7 million, with $600,000 for Boxer and $1.1 million for the DSCC.