Politics & Government

Obama makes Texas trip a short one

DALLAS — President Barack Obama made his first visit to North Texas on Monday since being elected, spending about an hour and a half trying to shore up campaign funds for Democrats in Texas and nationwide.

After arriving at Love Field, Obama greeted a small group of supporters before heading to a Highland Park fundraiser, where he made a speech, described by some as "moving," to a crowd of about 70 major Democratic donors.

"He talked about the positive things the Democratic [Congress] has done," said Jim Girards, a Dallas lawyer who attended the highly secure gathering. "He did a great job in inspiring all of us to look forward. ... I was thrilled he came to Texas."

Secret Service agents and police surrounded the home of lawyer Russell Budd, who also hosted a fundraiser this year attended by Vice President Joe Biden. The agents and police kept media, supporters and opponents at a distance.

A motorcycle officer received minor injuries in an accident on the way to the event from the airport.

Those gathered at the home for the event, which was believed to be $15,000 a plate, included Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and former Democratic state Rep. Domingo Garcia of Dallas. Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk was among those traveling with Obama.

Garcia, a co-host of the event, said he had one message he hoped the president heard. "He needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. The system is broken."

Garcia said he was encouraged that the president visited Texas.

"Texas is changing," he said. "Texas will soon become a purple state."

But not all the reaction to Obama's visit was positive.

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