Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser in La Jolla, Calif., the president recited what is becoming a familiar list of reforms effected during his administration -- including changes in labor and bankruptcy law and higher education funding, as well as the landmark Affordable Care Act reforming U.S. healthcare.
He acknowledged the "economy is tough, and people are frustrated," so he expects the 2012 election to be difficult for Democrats.
"There are two contrasting visions of where America needs to go," he told his audience. "And one vision says that we've got to pull and abandon our commitments to the aging and the vulnerable, and we can't afford to invest in education the way we historically have, and we can't afford to rebuild our infrastructure -- we're destined to having a smaller vision of what we can do together.
"And the other is a big, ambitious, bold, optimistic vision of an America in which we are investing in the future, we're investing in our people."
Obama said his administration was making "tough decisions to be competitive in the 21st century, and we're doing it in a way that is fair, that everybody shares in opportunity and everybody shares in responsibility. That's what's at stake."
About 130 campaign donors paid a minimum of $2,500 each to attend the fundraiser at the La Jolla home of Democratic activists Mason and Elizabeth Phelps. Obama later traveled to Los Angeles for fundraisers at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard and Fig & Olive, a restaurant in West Hollywood.
At the House of Blues, the president was interrupted as he took the stage by a protester who shouted, "Christian God is the one and only true living God, the creator of Heaven and the Universe."
As security carried the man out of the theater, he shouted: "Jesus Christ is god, Barrack Obama is the anti-Christ!"
Kate Middleton recycles dress at movie premiere
Benedict Cumberbatch's dramatic reading of R. Kelly lyrics is just what you need