Jay-Z and Beyoncé held the $40,000-per-head fund-raiser at the 40/40 Club Jay-Z co-owns
Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles hosted a fund-raiser for President Barack Obama Tuesday evening in New York City, hours after the commander-in-chief joined David Letterman on the "Late Show."
Obama spoke at the 40/40 Club, the Midtown Manhattan venue that Jay-Z co-owns with business partners, for the $40,000-per-person event, where he was joined by 100 invited guests.
The president appeared to address remarks made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who suggested in a leaked video from a Florida fund-raiser that 47 percent of the American electorate consider themselves "victims" and remain dependent on government services.
"Here in America you can make it if you work hard," Obama said. "I don't want people to be complacent, but I don't want people to be discouraged."
Ericka Dungee, a mother of two from Hermitage, Penn., who won a contest to meet the head of state and the musical duo, attended the event with her husband, Bill. Dungee, a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, one of the key toss-up states in the election, works as a kindergarten teacher. Her husband is a fellow educator who works as a school district business manager.
Obama praised his hosts, calling Beyoncé a "role model" for his daughters.
"Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls," he said, before comparing himself to her husband, Jay-Z. "We both have a daughters and our wives are more popular than we are. So, you know, we've got a little bond there. It's hard but it's OK."
Rain bounced off a sea of umbrellas as droves of onlookers surrounded the entrance to the venue as Obama's motorcade arrived.
Knowles, a 16-time Grammy Award-winning singer and actress, has been a vocal supporter of the president's reelection bid, making a video tribute to Michelle Obama that was posted on BarackObama.com in July and taking part in the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” kid-targeted fitness campaign in May.
"I can't tell you how proud we are to host tonight's event with President Obama," Beyoncé, clad in a red cocktail dress, said. "We believe in his vision."
Obama, which has earned the endorsement of numerous Hollywood celebrities including George Clooney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Eva Longoria and Gwen Stefani, has taken part in several fund-raisers in Los Angeles and New York City since the beginning of the election season.