President Barack Obama made a few jokes and told some stories before getting down to business during a speech that lasted 40 minutes in Portland Tuesday night.
"We'll finish what we started and we'll remind the world why America is the greatest nation on earth," Obama told the crowd.
The president was in Portland as part of a three-day multi-state campaign blitz.
He made a surprise stop at a northeast Portland restaurant shortly after Air Force One landed in the Rose City on Tuesday.
Obama shook hands with more than a dozen people who gathered at The Gateway Breakfast House. He ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and split pea soup.
Obama then headed to an event for about 25 donors who have given $30,000 or more to his campaign. After that, he attended a fundraiser at the Oregon Convention Center at around 4 p.m. Tickets started at $500 each and sold out. About 950 people were expected to be at the convention center event.
In addition to the two fundraising events, Obama had planned a grassroots rally in Portland, but the event was canceled. The Associated Press reported that White House officials said the tone of the larger event may have been inappropriate given the recent tragedy in Colorado.
On Monday, Obama spoke at a fundraising event in Oakland. He also spoke to Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, NV, earlier in the day. His remarks included comments about cuts to the military and the economy, but he also reflected on the mass shooting in Colorado.
Several groups planned to demonstrate outside the Convention Center during Obama's visit. Those groups include Ceasefire Oregon, which is calling for Obama to reinstate a ban on assault weapons.
"Really, it's going to come down to Congress. It's got to come down to the Senate. But if we don't get leadership from these two presidential candidates, we know that we're not going to get anywhere, so that's really what we're calling for," said Penny Okamoto, executive director of Ceasefire Oregon.
After his afternoon events in Portland, Obama headed north to Seattle for campaign events at private homes in Hunts Point, WA.
Obama visit to impact traffic
As part of the president's visit to Portland, Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be closed to all traffic from Multnomah Street to the I-84 overpass. Area businesses will have some access for foot traffic only.
City officials are warning of congestion on area freeways as well due to the president's motorcade between northeast Portland and the Portland Air National Guard Base.
TriMet commuters will also experience delays. TriMet will close the Convention Center MAX platform and trains will not stop. The Rose Quarter Transit Station and the Northeast Seventh and Multnomah stops both will be open.
The last time Obama visited Portland was in February 2011.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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