published on April 8, 2016 - 7:17 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

(AP) — President Barack Obama is praising Democrats as more willing to make tough choices and criticizing Republicans as afraid to do anything, including vote on his Supreme Court nominee.

Speaking at a California fundraiser, Obama lauded House Democrats for casting difficult votes “because we understood we had a certain responsibility to get things done.”

“And that’s what we have not seen from the other side,” Obama told about 100 people including Hollywood stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow seated at round dining tables in a tent at the Bel Air home of Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

“And that’s why this election is so important,” Obama said.

Left out of the president’s remarks was that votes taken by House Democrats, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, to muscle Obama’s economic recovery plan and health care law through Congress soured the public and cost Democrats the House majority in his first term.

Obama also criticized Senate Republicans for refusing to consider his nomination of federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Democrats have a good chance to add at least a handful of House seats come November. That number could grow if the Republican presidential nominee is Donald Trump, who has alienated large numbers of women, Hispanics and others with his biting rhetoric and issue positions.

But to regain control of the 435-seat chamber, Democrats would need to pick up 30 seats, which would be an uphill climb.

Obama’s remarks late Thursday marked the start of a two-day fundraising swing through Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Friday brought three more events, including a roundtable for Senate Democratic candidates at the Brentwood home of “Spiderman” actor Tobey Maguire that was closed to news media coverage. Tickets cost $33,400, officials said.

Obama was also attending a closed Democratic Party event later Friday in San Francisco before rejoining Pelosi there in her home district for another gala for House Democrats. The event was being held at the home of businessman and philanthropist Gordon Getty. Tickets are $33,400 per couple.

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