BOSTON — President Obama is accusing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of sending American jobs overseas. That was one of the themes of a speech the president gave at a fund-raiser at Boston’s Symphony Hall Monday night. He used the occasion to frame the election in November.
“What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different visions on which direction we should go, and this election is your chance to break that stalemate,” the president told the crowd.
Obama also tried to undercut Romney’s claim that he is good at creating jobs by bringing up reports that Bain Capital, the company Romney founded, had among its clients companies that were pioneers in outsourcing American jobs. And the president had some fun with the way the Romney campaign tried to spin the story.
“Yesterday, his advisors tried to clear this up by telling us that there was a difference between ‘outsourcing’ and ‘offshoring’,” the president said as the crowd laughed. “Seriously. You can’t make that up.”
The president connected with the crowd. He seemed to find his groove with jabs at Romney and with his framing of the election as one to break the stalemate in Washington.
The crowd was raucus for much of the night. There was a mix of people in business attire and people who were dressed casually. Some had come to hear the president before. Others were there for the first time. One Suffolk University student was there because his girlfriend had paid the $500 a couple needed to get in as a birthday present to him.
The seats in the orchestra had been removed and replaced by cafe tables, and before the president came in, people were pulling together around the tables engaged in intense conversation, with a bottle of red wine on each table. They were optimistic that Obama is going to pull off a victory in November.
But at one point, the crowd booed the president. He is a White Sox fan, and he thanked Boston for Kevin Youkilis, who has just been traded to the White Sox. He joked that he didn’t think he would ever get booed in Boston.
Massachusetts is solidly in the Democratic column and not considered in play in the presidential election.
But it is the sixth biggest source for campaign money for the presidential race. The president raised $3 million in three Boston area fund-raisers Monday night. And he told the crowd he needs them to go out and campaign for him — in New Hampshire, for example, which is in play, and where he was earlier in the day.