Here are the verbatim pool reports filed late last night from President Obama’s San Francisco fundraisers by the Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci:
About 100 guests gathered at the home of Democratic billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer to hear President Obama Wednesday — an event inside a three story stucco home which overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge (and lists for $5.8 million on Zillow).
The setting was spectacular, at the end of a peninsula and a dead end road in the tony Seacliff neighborhood, though the famous bridge was covered in fog. Obama said his hosts apologized to him for that.
Obama addressed the crowd in a high ceiling room without furniture, but repeatedly mentioned the issue of climate change in his 19 minute remarks.
Among House members present: Rep. Mike Honda of San Jose, Rep. Eric Swalwell of the East Bay and Rep. Jared Huffman of the North Bay.
He was introduced by Steyer, who was with his wife, Kat Taylor, who sang to guests as a greeting.
“This is the cheapest ticket in town,” Steyer told the crowd, in introducing the president.
Steyer, a vociferous opponent of the Keystone pipeline and a strong supporter of climate change leglislation, appeared to try to put at ease concerns that Obama would not make good on promises to keep the issue at the top of his agenda.
“He is doing everything we can on the issues that we care about,” Steyer said. “He has political limitations…so we really have an obligation to help him.”
“We are like role players in basketball…,” said Steyer. “And we have the great star gunner who has to take the star shot…we have the best left-handed shameless gunner in the world.”
Obama for his part, addressed the climate change issue repeatedly in his remarks.
Despite an “aggressive agenda” by Republicans, he said, “We’ve been able to reduce carbon emissions in this country …(and) address one of the biggest challenges of our time — and that is climate change.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Obama. “We can do so much more.”
Obama acknowledged that the issue is “close to Tom’s heart,” but added, “the politics of this are tough.”
“If you’ve still got that job that is powered by cheap energy … and you certainly can’t afford to buy a Prius,” he said, “you may be concerned about the temperature of the planet.”
“But it’s probably not rising to your number one concern,” Obama said, such as keeping a job or “how do I feed my family.”
Obama said that supporters will need to “marry a genuine, passionate concern about middle class families” and convince them that “we are working just as hard for them as we are for an environmental agenda.”
“And that’s going to take some work.” The President’s biggest applause line, though, came when — citing accomplishment of his administration — he noted that because of changes in culture in this country, “we’re able to see that the LGBT community has full and equal citizenship.”