LOS ANGELES (CBS) — President Barack Obama brought his re-election effort to the Southland Monday, tapping into some deep Hollywood pockets to pad his campaign efforts while working to restore the nation’s status as a land of opportunity.
Speaking to about 800 supporters at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, Obama said he remembered when “the idea of America was captured by this notion that if you tried hard here you could always make it — that you were only bound by the size of your dreams.”
Before the president’s speech began, a lone protester in the audience began shouting loudly, yelling, “I love Jesus. Jesus Christ is God. Barack Obama’s the anti-Christ.”
Obama’s supporters quickly drowned out the man with boos and chants of “four more years,” and Secret Service agents escorted the man from the venue as the president waited quietly.
“First of all, I agree Jesus Christ is the Lord, I believe in that,” Obama said when order was restored, drawing applause from the crowd.
Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport at about 4:40 p.m. and quickly boarded a helicopter bound for the Brentwood area, where he was loaded into a motorcade en route to the House of Blues, where supporters paid a minimum of $250 per ticket.
Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC’s “Modern Family” was the emcee at the event, which also featured performances by rapper B.o.B and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
Politicians in the crowd included Rep. Janice Hahn, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and L.A. County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary Maria Elena Durazo.
His fundraising effort was later moved to the Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose.
Tickets for the dinner cost $17,900 per person, or $35,800 per couple, with proceeds going to the Obama Victory Fund.
Obama, who raised funds in Seattle Sunday and in Northern California and San Diego earlier in the day, is scheduled to spend the night in Los Angeles, leaving LAX for Denver at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
As is typical with presidential visits, Obama was met by some protesters.
Outside the House of Blues, members of the ANSWER Coalition staged a rally, calling for an end to U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, protection of Social Security and Medicare funds, and an end to the deportation of illegal immigrants.
At the Fig & Olive, the Southern California Immigration Coalition led a rally calling for an overhaul of the federal immigration system and protection of immigrants.
Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl warned Angelenos, especially Westsiders, to beware of more traffic snarls Tuesday morning when President Obama heads to LAX.