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Trump addresses record-setting GOP fundraiser

Last Updated Mar 20, 2018 8:00 PM EDT

President Trump took the stage Tuesday night at the National Republican Congressional Committee's (NRCC) annual March dinner, in what the NRCC has said is the most they've ever raised at a March dinner — $32 million. 

The NRCC is on a fundraising streak ahead of the 2018 midterms. The organization has raised $95 million so far in the 2018 cycle, as the GOP tries to maintain control of Congress. Mr. Trump jokingly took credit for the last two years of record-setting March fundraising dinners.

"Now we must work to keep our majority," Mr. Trump said. "... There's no reason why we shouldn't win with what we've done over the last year."

Mr. Trump said the Democratic Party has gone to the left of where it once was — "we have to go a little bit further right," he added. 

The president went on to say their "America first" agenda is exceeding expectations. Mr. Trump also touted unemployment rates for black and Hispanic individuals, and women. Mr. Trump said he will be campaigning for Republicans around the country this year. But he emphasized the GOP "cannot be complacent," and noted Democrats' energy. 

The president took an opportunity to bash Democrats, claiming they don't want to find solutions for undocumented "Dreamers" and want open borders. He also went after Rep. Maxine Waters, calling her a "low IQ individual" — an insult he has used in the past. 

Overall though, Mr. Trump's message Tuesday night was calm, measured, and on-message — something that hasn't been the case lately when he speaks to a large audience. Mr. Trump is known to go off-script at these types of events. At the last fundraiser where Mr. Trump spoke, closed to the press, the president claimed he didn't know whether the U.S. had a trade surplus or deficit with Canada when he told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the foreign leader was wrong about trade. Mr. Trump insisted there was no trade surplus, even though the U.S. Trade Representative says the U.S. has a substantial surplus with its northern neighbor. 

The president's alleged conversation with Trudeau isn't the only conversation with a foreign leader that's gained attention lately. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his victory in an election filled with allegations of ballot stuffing. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said it isn't the place for the U.S. to dictate how other countries run their elections. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.