At Indian-American Billionaire’s Dinner For Biden, POTUS Talks Of Trump

Prominent Indian-American billionaire and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla hosted US President Joe Biden at his Silicon Valley residence for an election fundraiser during which the Democratic Party’s presumptive candidate raised more than USD 1.5 million.

Tickets for the fundraiser on Friday at the residence of Mr Khosla, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures, ranged from USD 6,600 to USD 100,000.

In the 2024 election cycle, this was the first time the president attended a fundraiser hosted by an Indian-American.

More than USD 1.5 million was raised during the event attended by many Indian-Americans from the Silicon Valley area. There were about 50 people seated and 30 or so standing.

In his remarks, which lasted for about 15 minutes, President Biden focused more on immigration and women’s rights. He also spoke about Donald Trump.

Though he did say that the US is not a xenophobic country, Biden did not mention India and Japan this time unlike his controversial remarks at a fundraiser in Washington DC about a week ago.

“They (immigrants) have been incredible contributors to the work ethic of this country — incredible. One of the reasons why we continue to grow is we are not xenophobic. We have the input of new immigrants coming into the country that should come into the country that are generating economic growth,” he said amidst applause from the select group of fundraisers.

President Biden was introduced at the fundraiser by Mr Khosla, the host.

“Vinod and Neeru (Khosla), thank you. Thank you for that introduction and your whole family. You know, one of the bad news about being a child or a nephew in a deeply involved family is you have no way out,” said the president.

“Thank you for inviting us to your wonderful home because I came to see your dogs. As the press can tell you, I like dogs better than people sometimes,” President Biden, 81, said, referring to his love and affection towards dogs.

President’s speech writer Vinay Reddy was among senior White House officials who accompanied Biden to the fundraiser.

On his way to the Khosla residence, the presidential convoy was greeted by both Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups.

One woman stood with an Israeli flag and a sign that read: “Thank you Biden”.

Less than a mile away, a group of about two dozen protesters were at an intersection with signs that read “Hands off Rafah” and “Cease fire now”.

About four people waved US and Israeli flags as the motorcade took the final road.

In his remarks, President Biden made several jokes about the former president and his Republican Party rival Donald Trump. “Not everyone is feeling the enthusiasm these days. The other day this guy walked up, said I’m in real trouble, short on cash, I don’t know what to do. I said Donald I can’t help you,” President Biden said.

He had a slight twist from a line about bleach in Trump’s hair and instead said he should have injected it: “Remember him saying the best thing to do is to inject a little bleach into your arm… I wish he had done it a little bit himself.” He talked about Trump’s pride in “love letters from South Korean president Kim Jong Un,” presumably meaning North Korean.

President Biden urged the audience to read Trump’s interview with Time magazine. He talked about reports that Trump asked oil executives to donate USD 1 billion to his campaign, doing a sign of the cross.

Ajay Bhutoria, a member of the National Finance Committee of the Democratic National Committee, who also attended the fundraiser, said Indian-Americans could sway the outcome in several battleground states, potentially affecting the November 5, 2024 race for the White House in support of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mr Bhutoria, who has been involved in Joe Biden’s campaign since its inception, underscored the pivotal role of Asian Americans, particularly South Asian and Indian Americans, in what he considers one of the most critical elections in history.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Khosla has so far given approximately USD 1.4 million to Democratic campaigns and organisations.

A prominent venture capitalist, he is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems. He’s known for his investments in technology startups and advocacy for clean technology and renewable energy. Khosla Ventures, his venture capital firm, has funded numerous successful companies in various sectors.

Mr Khosla has been involved in political advocacy, particularly in issues related to technology, energy, and the environment. While he has contributed to political causes and candidates, his political support and involvement may vary over time and depend on the specific issues and candidates involved.

President Biden is set to face former President Trump in the November 5, 2024, presidential election, a rematch between them since their 2020 clash.

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