Over 100 people attended a campaign dinner for President Joe Biden in Atherton on Monday night, June 19, according to White House press pool reporters.
Hosted by venture capitalist and former state controller Steve Westly and philanthropist Anita Yu, Westly told the crowd: "How often do you have a chance to stand with the most powerful person in the world?" as Biden gave himself the sign of the cross to laughter from attendees.
Biden, who is seeking reelection in November 2024, spoke for about 34 minutes during the fundraising event. The stop in Atherton followed a visit to Palo Alto's Baylands, where he announced that his administration is investing more than $2.6 billion to fight climate change. He also went to an afternoon campaign fundraiser in Los Gatos.
Biden called climate change the "existential change to the United States and the economy."
"We can do it, we can deal with it, we can make it happen and we can create millions of good paying jobs," he said.
Biden said when he was elected, the economy was in disarray.
"We had to figure out how to unite the country," he said. "The press understandably — I'm not criticizing the press when I say this — the press sort of made light of my saying 'unite America.'"
When elected, he said one of his jobs was to reestablish American leadership in the world.
"The last time we decided we could go it alone, 'America First,'" he said. "There wasn't much coordination. We stopped talking to each other."
The United States is the “lynchpin that most democracies around the world look to to keep things going,” Biden said. "Madeline Albright was right when she said we're the essential nation."
The "Biden Victory Fund" fundraiser took place at Westly and Yu's home, according to an invitation obtained by this news organization. Westly served as the state controller of California from 2003 to 2007 and as former President Barack Obama's California campaign co-chair for the 2008 Presidential Election.
Tickets ran from $6,600 to the top-tier $100,000 "host" tickets (which include a handshake and photo with the president).
Biden thanked Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, who was at the event and who represents Atherton, for the passport into her Congressional district.