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Obama Talks Tough At San Fran Fundraiser

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(SAN FRANCISCO) - Maybe it's something about San Francisco fundraisers that gets Barack Obama fired up.

In April, Obama was widely criticized when he told donors, "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And it's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

On Sunday night, he didn't create any controversy but he did come in with a two-fold mission, to raise as much money as possible for his general election fund and to send a signal to his Republican opponents that he is ready to take them on. He accomplished the first goal by raising an impressive $7.8 million in only three hours, a record for the campaign.

He tried to accomplish the second goal by using some of his strongest rhetoric to date. "Toss the bums out, we're starting from scratch, we're starting over. This is not working," Obama said referring to what he believes voters should be thinking about the Republicans.

"Just read the papers. These are the knuckleheads who have been in charge. Throw 'em out," he said, but acknowledged that "American politics aren't that simple."

Even after declaring, "I will win. Don't worry about that," he attempted to portray himself as the underdog and the unknown candidate in the race, arguing that voters may not side with him because he is too new.

"Even when people are having a tough time, sometimes the devil you know may be preferable to the unknown."

He warned that the coming weeks could get "ugly", saying that his opponents will have a "whole machinery that they're cranking out." "They've got a book about me, that just kind of sprung full bore out of this guy's head," he said referring to Jerome Corsi's book "The Obama Nation."

However, Obama promised that he will not take "guff" from his opponents and that he will fight back "swiftly and forcefully and truthfully."