Thursday November 26th, 2015 3:47AM

Obama raps GOP for focusing on Benghazi, Obamacare

By The Associated Press
POTOMAC, Md. (AP) - Working to fill campaign coffers for House Democrats, President Barack Obama poked fun at Republicans on Monday for placing an election-year focus on the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and his namesake health care law rather than on issues he deemed more serious.

Standing between two flags in a white tent erected outside a supporter's sprawling home, Obama pointed the finger at the GOP and charged his political opponents with employing an election strategy based around making Americans cynical, angry and suspicious enough that they vote for Republicans in the next election.

``The debate we're having right now is about what, Benghazi? Obamacare? It becomes this endless loop,'' said an incredulous Obama. ``It's not serious. It's not speaking to the real concerns that people have.''

It was a rare moment where the president's frustration with the GOP's incessant focus on his political weaknesses bubbled to the surface.

Republicans have spent recent weeks pummeling Obama and his administration over the 2012 attack in Libya that took place on Obama's watch. For Obama, the renewed focus on Benghazi, where four Americans died, only replaces one headache with another; until recently, Republicans had been laser-focused on pushing repeal of Obama's unpopular health law as a way to score points with voters in November.

It's not true that Democrats are behaving as unreasonably as Republicans, Obama insisted, adding that the GOP has been ``captured'' by a group that's unserious and ineffective.

``I hate to be blunt about it, but that's the play,'' Obama told about 65 supporters who paid up to $32,400 per couple for a chance to have dinner with the president. Joining them were a list of bold-named Democratic figures, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016.

This is the fifth time Obama has made the money pitch for House Democrats this year one of more than 20 fundraisers Obama has agreed to do through the summer for Democratic-aligned campaign groups.

Democrats are anxiously working to protect their fragile majority in the Senate, and would need a net gain of 17 seats this year to seize the majority from Republicans. But a combination of Obama's low approval ratings, an unfavorable electoral map and historical trends are all working against Democrats to dampen the party's prospects in November.

To that end, Obama was careful not to raise Democrats' hopes too high. Rather than urging donors to pony up big so Democrats can win back control of the House, Obama offered a more modest goal:

``We've got to make sure that Democrats are making progress this midterm,'' he said.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 10 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 10 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 10 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 10 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 10 months ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 6 hours ago )
The big getaway: Thanksgiving travelers hit the road and pack airports, despite terror fears
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The big Thanksgiving getaway went into full swing Wednesday with drivers delighted by the lowest November gas prices in years and many airline passengers undaunted by terrorism fear...
7:10PM ( 8 hours ago )
Traffic slowed Wed. afternoon by overturned dump truck on Candler Hwy.
Traffic was slowed on Candler Highway in Gainesville Wednesday afternoon because of an overturned dump truck near Cottrell Trailers.
3:39PM ( 12 hours ago )
Gainesville officials say 2,600 gallons of sludge accidentally pumped into Flat Creek
City officials said an estimated 2,600 gallons of sludge was accidentally pumped into Flat Creek Tuesday evening.
2:31PM ( 13 hours ago )
Man faces charges in Hall subdivision home invasion
A 20-year-old Gainesville man faces charges in an early September home invasion in Hall County.
12:12PM ( 15 hours ago )