Staff Photo: Jason Braverman President Barack Obama addresses a crowd of supporters during a campaign stop at The Westin Peachtree Plaza in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon.
ATLANTA -- Citing a vision of working together to grow America, President Barack Obama excited a crowd of Atlantans on Tuesday to help with his re-election campaign.
At a fundraising stop, the president admitted the 2012 campaign for the White House would be tough, but said the American people support his vision to invest in people and infrastructure.
"Slowly and surely, the American people have proved they are tougher than tough times," Obama said. "In this election, all of you have the opportunity to choose between two fundamentally different visions about how we grow America."
The fundraiser at the Westin Peachtree Plaza cost attendees a minimum of $500, with some paying $35,000, although supporters lined Atlanta's famous Peachtree Street to catch a glimpse of the president as he arrived.
"This is still going to be a close election, because the economy is still tough and folks are frustrated," the president said, predicting a well-funded campaign of negative ads from the other side and calling on help from supporters.
"When the American people decide that something is important, when ordinary citizens come together ... amazing things happen, change happens," he said, extolling his moves to banish "don't ask, don't tell" from the military and recently to give amnesty to illegal immigrants who came to this country as children. "We're not going to make progess going backwards. We need to go forward."
Drawing a comparison with Republican contender former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama said the GOP plans to reduce regulations and taxes on the upper class would not work to improve the economy.
Instead, he talked about making college cheaper, investing in infrastructure such as roads and ports to add jobs, investing in science in technology and subsidizing clean energy efforts to reduce foreign dependency on oil.
The strategy worked, he said, after the Great Depression, when the government sent thousands of soldiers to college on the GI bill and built the Hoover Dam.
"It's the basic idea that everybody gets their fair shot and everybody gives their fair share," Obama said. "We rise and fall as one nation."
Obama stopped at Atlanta's famous Varsity to eat a hotdog before the event, and afterward he stopped at a movie set, before traveling to Miami for another fundraiser.