ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of about 300 at his first fundraiser of the evening at a downtown hotel on Tuesday, where he was briefly interrupted by an apparent protester.
The president was introduced by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who clearly had playoff baseball – the St. Louis Cardinals were taking on the Philadelphia Phillies down the street – on his mind.
“We are here to talk about re-elections, but if we can sign Albert Pujols for four more years,” said Nixon, referring to the Cardinals’ star first baseman, “that would be good, too.”
Obama offered to keep his remarks brief so the audience could catch the ninth inning of the game, but the crowd demurred.
About five minutes into his speech, a member of the crowd interrupted to ask the president if he would “stop the pipeline.” Obama continued his speech, but then referred back to the hecklers a few moments later when talking about fuel efficiency standards.
“We’ve got a couple of people here who are concerned about the environment,” the president said.
It was unclear if the individuals who interrupted the president were affiliated with a group of “Occupy St. Louis” protestors that greeted the president’s motorcade.
The Secret Service did not immediately remove anyone from the fundraiser inside.
Air Force One touched down in St. Louis at about 5:35 p.m. local time, and was greeted by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Gov. Nixon, both Democrats.
After his downtown event, the president addressed an intimate gathering at a private home across from the city’s 1,300-acre Forest Park. The home belongs to Tom Carnahan, who comes from one of Missouri’s most prominent political families.
Tom’s brother is U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan; his sister, Robin, is Missouri’s Secretary of State, though on Friday she announced she would not seek re-election.
In a ten-minute speech, Obama urged donors to help his agenda pass Congress.
To his host, he said “I know you guys have a little pull with at least one congressman named Carnahan.”
A group of Tea Party protesters gathered at the park across the street, however they were kept behind a bike-rack barricade.
The $25,000-a-person fundraiser was catered by the proprietor of Pi, a local pizza restaurant whose fare the president first tasted in St. Louis on the campaign trail in 2008
The president later invited Pi’s pizza makers to prepare a meal at the White House.
The beer at the fundraiser was also served with the president in mind: “Baracktoberfest,” bottled by Schlafly, a local brewer.
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