Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder performs at Obama fundraiser, calls Romney’s ‘47 percent’ comment ‘upsetting’

By Daniel S Levine,

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder performed at a Tampa fundraiser for President Obama’s reelection campaign Thursday that raised $1.7 million for the campaign.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vedder performed four songs for the president and the 85 guests, who paid $20,000-per-plate to attend. He sang “Rise,” “Without You,” James Taylor’s “Millworker” and Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” The event was hosted by singer Don Miggs and Lisa deBartolo, the daughter of former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

Rolling Stone reports that, according to a pool report, Vedder told the guests that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s now infamous “47 percent” comments were “upsetting.”

“It's very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population,” Vedder said. “I'm an example of someone who never made it to university. I did have this dream to be a musician. I felt that this dream had an expiration date.”

Vedder recalled how he started his career, remembering how he signed on for a government security guard training program. That got him a job, which helped him afford music equipment early in his career.

“It was that job which allowed me to keep affording to guitars and microphones,” he said. “For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job.”

Obama then thanked Vedder for sharing his story. “For you to share that story with us, Eddie, speaks volumes not only about you but about this country...That story captures better than anything what this campaign is about and what this country is about.”

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