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Obama raising campaign cash in Vermont, Maine

By Julie Pace

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 30 2012 12:10 p.m. MDT

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Raising campaign cash in reliably Democratic Vermont, President Barack Obama on Friday called this year's presidential race a "clarifying election" that will determine what the country stands for.

Obama spoke at a $7,500-per-person luncheon fundraiser Friday, where he said the general election would be a "healthy debate for the nation." Obama said Republicans are peddling a "fundamentally different vision of America."

"It's a vision that says that America is about looking out for yourself, not for other people," Obama said. "It's an America that denies something like climate change, that rejects it, that takes a position on immigration that would have been unthinkable in either party just a few years ago."

Obama said the economy was getting stronger and businesses were beginning to feel more confident. He also touted his health care law, though without mentioning the Supreme Court case to determine the constitutionality of its main provision.

Event organizers said Obama's stop in Vermont marked the first trip to the state by a sitting president since 1995.

Later Friday, Obama was to speak at a large fundraising rally on the campus of the University of Vermont. He was also attending two fundraisers in Portland, Maine.

Obama's four events are his last fundraisers before Saturday's monthly and quarterly campaign fundraising deadline. The president raised $45 million last month for his re-election.

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