Back-to-back Florida fundraisers for Obama

ORLANDO – President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the question for next year’s presidential race isn’t whether the country has been going through a difficult time, but more like where will the country go next.

Campaigning in Florida, a state he won in 2008, Obama said voters can choose to go back to ideas – Republican ideas – that have been tried and failed or they can work toward an America where everybody gets a fair shake and everybody does their fair share.

He said the question isn’t whether people are still hurting, because too many still are, or whether the U.S. has been going through tough times.

“The question is ‘Where are we going next? What does the future hold?'” Obama said at a campaign fundraiser in downtown Orlando, with 450 donors who paid anywhere from $25 to $35,800 to attend.

“We can either go back to the ideas that were tried and failed in the last decade, where corporations write their own rules, the well-connected get tax breaks slipped into the tax code and ordinary folks struggle, or we can build the America we talked about in 2008 and that we’ve been fighting for ever since, an America where everybody gets a fair shake and everybody does their fair share, an America where we’re all in it together and we’re looking out for one another.”

The central Florida region is rich with swing voters that Obama hopes will help re-elect him next year. He won Florida in 2008 by nearly 3 percentage points.

A second fundraiser for 300 contributors, where tickets start at $1,500, also is planned at a private home in Lake Mary. Basketball stars Grant Hill, Patrick Ewing and Doc Rivers are expected to attend.