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In 1996, Obama Criticized Pricey Fundraisers As Selling Access

As a young, up-and-coming politician Obama criticized the same high-dollar fundraisers which are a centerpiece of his 2012 campaign.

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President Obama regularly hosts high-dollar fundraiser for his reelection campaign, many of which routinely sell tickets for $35,000 per person. While the President's fundraisers often bring in millions of dollars for his re-election efforts in 1996 a young 35-year-old Obama, then a civil rights attorney running for State Senate, criticized such events as selling access.

Obama told the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"You got these $10,000-a-plate dinners and Golden Circles Clubs. I think when the average voter looks at that, they rightly feel they're locked out of the process. They can't attend a $10,000 breakfast and they know that those who can are going to get the kind of access they can't imagine."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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