President Barack Obama wrapped up a two-day Southern California Tuesday with a speech at DreamWorks Animation studio -- where he hailed the entertainment industry as a "bright spot" of the economy -- after a morning fundraiser at the home of a co-creator of the show "Friends."
The president's seventh fundraiser during his three-day West Coast trip was Tuesday morning at the home of Marta Kauffman, a co-creator of the long-running NBC comedy "Friends." Obama then traveled to Glendale -- the Marine One helicopter landed at a middle school -- to tour the DreamWorks Animation campus, meet with film industry representatives and speak on the economy.
DreamWorks Animation is headed by Jeffrey Katzenberg, who raised millions for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. He also donated $3 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action.
"I'm going to ask Jeff if maybe I can work here," Obama told the crowd gathered outside the studio. It's a great place to work, but all of you have friends and family who aren't as lucky. A lot of people are still struggling out there.
"Entertainment is one of the bright spots of our economy. The difference between what we can do and other countries is enormous. This is one of America's economic engines. Not just DreamWorks, but Disney, Warner, Universal and others."
The president arrived in Los Angeles Monday after stops in Seattle and San Francisco. He attended Beverly Hills fundraisers Monday night at the homes of NBA Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson and Haim Saban of Saban Capital Group before staying overnight at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
He discussed the Affordable Care Act and an agreement on Iran's nuclear program at the fundraisers. He addressed the audience for about 20 minutes at a reception benefiting Democratic House and Senate campaign committees at Johnson's home.
"Do we want to live in a country as wealthy as we are where if somebody gets sick they lose their home, they go bankrupt? They have to weigh, can I go right now to the emergency room knowing that may mean I can't pay for my child's school tuition?" Obama told the crowd of about 160 that included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. "That's not the country I want to live in and that's not the county you want to live in, which means we've got to fight for it."
Actors Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Keaton and Los Angeles Clippers players J.J. Redick and Antawn Jamison also attended the event. Tickets were priced from $2,500 to $15,000 per person.
At the Saban fundraiser, the president addressed the recent agreement reached with Iran on that country's nuclear program. Obama said the deal will remove a "cloud that has hovered over the Middle East that had the potential and continues to have the potential of triggering a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world."
Approximately 120 people attended the dinner, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks. Tickets were priced at $16,200 each.
A coalition of environmental and progressive groups conducted a rally and march in Beverly Hills against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade agreement. Opponents of the partnership claim it will undermine state, local and federal laws, including those governing food safety, environmental protections, Internet freedom, workers rights, health care, drug prices and banking and finance regulations.
The Obama administration said the partnership will increase economic growth by increasing American exports, support the creation and retention of American jobs and promote innovation. The partnership includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Vietnam and Singapore.
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