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president barack obama in austin President Barack Obama arrives at a fundraising event in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. (Photo: AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

Election 2012: Obama Makes Millions in Texas

President campaigns in Austin, San Antonio

By Trinity Vogel | null null , null

President Barack Obama made his third trip to Austin, Texas, in three years on Tuesday as he campaigns for reelection. The visit raised about $2 million for his re-election campaign. Including a stop in San Antonio, he raised a total of $3.2 million from Texas on Tuesday, a state he will not likely win in November.

"He won't win Texas," said Diane Ireson, a therapist who paid $250 to hear President Obama speak at the Austin Music Hall in downtown Austin. "But he's got a lot of people who love him here. I think this is the best use of the state."

The President held two fundraising events in Texas' capital city. He began with the $250 rally of about 1,300 supporters at the music hall. Contributors also got to hear famed musician Jerry Jeff Walker. Obama ended the day at a private dinner that cost $25,000 a couple to attend.

In his rally remarks, President Obama first spoke about his upbringing. Without mentioning his Republican opponent, he drew a sharp contrast between his own background and that of candidate Mitt Romney.

"In you, I see me," the President said. "In your grandparents, I see my grandparents. In your kids, I see my kids.

"In this country, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what you last name is, if you work hard, if you are willing to take responsibility, then you can make it," he continued. "You can get ahead."

With his shirtsleeves rolled up and his bright blue tie tightly knotted, Obama leaned on the podium and laid out the differences between himself and his opponent.

The President said that Romney believes in top-down economics that gives tax cuts to the wealthy. By comparison, Obama said he believes the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Obama said tax cuts should go to the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year.

"You can settle this dispute (between me and Romney) with your vote," he urged as the audience chanted, "Four more years!"

Despite his urging, everyone in the room understood that a vote for Obama in Texas will not keep him in the White House.

"Texas is a strong Republican state," Wayne Slater, the senior political writer for the Dallas Morning News explained to this Scholastic reporter. He pointed out that for the last 15 years, every state-wide elected official has been a Republican.

"Texas is a place where Democrats get money," Slater said.

Shawna Thomas, the NBC News White House producer, agreed.

"He's not going to spend money to hold rallies here, but he does have ardent supporters who will give him money to hold rallies in other places," she said. "No way he's going to win this state."

Those ardent supporters didn't seem to mind that negative outlook.

"He's got to have money to run, so I'm happy to pay for it," said Marcia Fox, an Austin nurse.


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