Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama campaigned in Mason City tonight, hours after announcing he had raised $25 million so far for his bid for the White House — slightly more than rival Hillary Clinton raised for the primary campaign.
"A lot of the media has been focusing on the fact that we raised a lot of money in this campaign, and they’re stunned," Obama said. "They say: ‘How did this guy named Obama who hasn’t been in Washington that long — how did he raise that money?’"
Obama bragged about refusing to accept donations from political action committees or from registered lobbyists. Obama also boasted about the number of people who contributed to his campaign coffers. "100,000 people from all across the country — 90 percent of them contributed $100 or less," Obama said. "That captures the spirit of this campaign."
Obama got contributions from twice as many people as Hillary Clinton, who had her husband — former President Bill Clinton — helping her raise money.
Obama suggested this fundraising report should help quiet some of the critics. "What I tell them is ‘Well look, maybe you’re not noticing that I have some experience even before I came to Washington, that because I’m a community organizer I know what it’s like for people to struggle because I’ve worked with them and because I was a constitutional law professor, I actually respect the constitution unlike some of the people in Washington,’" Obama said, as the audience applauded.
Obama’s holding an invitation-only meeting in Mason City Monday morning. He’s scheduled to appear in the Algona High School cafeteria early in the afternoon, then he plans to stop by the VFW in Dakota City in the middle of the afternoon. His final public appearance of the day will be in Fort Dodge at five.
Obama plans to be in Marshalltown on Friday.