BOSTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged Massachusetts Democrats to focus on this fall’s midterm elections and boosting turnout, and to pass the hope of opportunity to future generations.
Obama spoke at a Democratic Party fundraising dinner at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter, a youth arts center in South Boston’s Seaport District.
He warned that Democrats could get “walloped” again this year if they turn prematurely to the 2016 presidential race.
“Nobody’s going to be more interested than me in having a Democrat succeed me,” Obama said. “But right now, we’ve got to make sure we’re fighting in this election.”
Among about 75 people attending were Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who held up his infant son, Owen, as the president recognized the new Kennedy family member. “When are you running?” Obama joked.
Obama said he wants to spend the next three years working on policies, including on immigration, to help Americans succeed.
Earlier Wednesday, Obama attended a round-table discussion fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee with about 25 supporters in Cambridge.
Party officials said guests at the round-table contributed up to $32,400 and the dinner guests up to $20,000.
At each stop there were a few pro-Ukraine protesters holding flags and signs.
Obama arrived Wednesday afternoon from Connecticut, where he and New England governors, including Patrick, promoted raising the minimum wage. He departed for Washington just after 9 p.m.