President Obama visits Austin, San Antonio

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by Associated Press, JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Chief Photojournalist SCOTT GUEST

khou.com

Posted on July 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 17 at 8:00 PM

AUSTIN, Texas— The president visited Austin and San Antonio Tuesday afternoon as part of a one-day Texas tour.

It was the third time in three years that President Barack Obama arrived in Austin.

In choosing Texas to raise money, Obama was traveling to a state that has not voted Democratic in a presidential contest since 1976. But Texas ranks among the states with the largest concentrations of wealth, along with New York, California, Florida and Illinois. Republicans typically raise more in Texas than Democrats. So far this election, Obama has raised $4.5 million from the state and the Democratic National Committee has raised $1.7 million, compared with $7.1 million for Romney and $5.3 million for the Republican Party.

The presidential motorcade drove from the airport to the Austin Music Hall downtown for a series of fundraisers. Obama’s campaign sources said the president hoped to leave Austin with $3.5 million. That would be a new, one-day record for Texas.

First, President Obama took part in a meet-and-greet at the Austin Music Hall before giving a speech. Afterward he took part in a private dinner at the Four Seasons Residences.

General admission tickets to the Austin Music Hall ranged from $250 a person to $1,000 for preferred viewing. Guests had to pay even more for a picture with the president. Tickets to the private fundraiser dinner cost $25,000 per couple.

As in past presidential visits, those who couldn’t attend either event lined the streets of Austin, hoping for a glance at the motorcade as it moved through.

“I think it would be pretty awesome. I’ve never met a president before in my life. I think it would be pretty cool,” said one downtown Austin employee.

Obama held the other fundraising event in San Antonio. It was aimed in part at Latinos, and featured actress Eva Longoria.

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