The Democratic incumbent told about 70 supporters -- who paid $35,800 per couple to attend the fundraiser in an intimate, dimly lit dining room at the St. Regis Hotel -- he is proud of his administration's record in the face of serious economic and global challenges.
Among the successes, he said, were 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth, healthcare and Wall Street reform and the repeal of the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Still, he said, much more needs to be done.
"What led me to run in 2008 was a sense that there had been a fundamental shift in the social compact" that was hurting too many Americans who struggled through the recession, he said. "In addition to dealing with crises, our goal since before I came into office was 'How do we restore that sense that any American, no matter where they're from, no matter what they look like, that they've got a shot to succeed?'
"Now I think what we're really struggling for is the kind of America that most of the people here believe in, and I believe that most Americans believe in. But we're going to have to fight for it because the other party has a fundamentally different vision about where to take this country.
"Their basic argument is that if we strip out regulations, if we disregard environmental concerns, if we take away protections for workers, if we lower taxes even further for the kind of folks who are in this room, that somehow growth and the American dream will be restored. I fundamentally disagree with that vision."
From the St. Regis, Obama traveled by motorcade to another big-ticket fundraiser at a private residence.