Obama raises money in Calif.

Associated Press


Fresh off his strongest fundraising month this year, President Barack Obama is looking to raise millions of dollars from celebrities and wealthy donors in California with just one month left in a tightening race.

The two-day swing through the solidly Democratic state highlights the critical role that fundraising will play in the campaign’s final weeks as Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, escalate their barrage of television ads in competitive states such as Ohio. The president is to return there Tuesday.

Romney, campaigning in up-for-grabs Florida, sought to build on the momentum from a debate performance last week that even Democrats conceded was “masterful.” The Republican told a crowd of about 12,000 in Port St. Lucie that he had enjoyed himself, ticking off a list of Obama shortcomings he said he had exposed during the first debate.

“Now of course, days later, we’re hearing his excuses,” Romney said. “And next January, we’ll be watching him leave the White House for the last time.”

In Los Angeles on Sunday, Obama took a shot at his listless debate showing. Speaking at a celebrity- led fundraiser at the Nokia Theatre, he came on stage after performances by such singers as Katy Perry, and Stevie Wonder and remarks by actor George Clooney.

He marveled at how they are able to perform flawlessly night after night and then said, “I can’t always say the same.”

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