Obama sounds campaign cash alarm
27 June 2012, 11:35
Miami - US President Barack Obama, renowned as a
champion fundraiser who piled up $750m in 2008, warned supporters on
Tuesday he would be outspent by his foe Mitt Romney in this year's
The president lashed the Republican for huddling last
weekend at a "secretive retreat" for rich donors and chiefs of
fundraising committees targeting Democrats, portraying his policies as
harmful to the middle class.
"I will be the first president in
modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things
continue as they have so far," said Obama in a fundraising e-mail sent
out to his supporters.
"We can be outspent and still win - but we can't be outspent 10 to 1 and still win."
e-mail came as he wound up a two-day campaign and fundraising swing
through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida, reportedly
set to raise up to $5m for his election war chest.
In one event
on Tuesday, Obama appeared in the plush Miami Beach residence of a
telecommunications executive and his wife, as around 30 guests chowed
down on cuisine from a top chef after paying $40 000 per head to attend.
clinching the Republican nomination, Romney has set about building a
formidable fundraising machine, which he will use for a torrent of
political ads and get out the vote efforts.
His haul, which some
pundits think could hit up to $800m will erase the huge money advantage
Obama enjoyed over the Republican candidate in the 2008 general election
race, John McCain.
In May, Romney overtook the president in
monthly campaign fundraising figures, piling up $76m dollars over the
month, compared to the more than $60m by the incumbent Democrat.
is also set to reap an important advantage from allied big money
political action committees known as Super-PACS, which thanks to a
controversial Supreme Court ruling can raise unlimited funds.
report by the Politico newspaper estimated that Super-PACs backing
Romney and Republican candidates could spend as much as $1bn attacking
Obama and fellow Democrats.
The Obama campaign, which argues that
Romney would favour rich friends and big business in his policies as
president to the detriment of the middle class also raises alarm about
the identity of the Republican's donors.
"The Romney campaign raises more than we do, and the math isn't hard to understand," Obama said in the e-mail.
raised almost three-quarters of our money from donors giving less than
$1 000, while Mitt Romney's campaign raised more than three-quarters of
its money from individuals giving $1 000 or more."
campaign said that 93% of the May donations to his campaign - more than
297 000 of them - were $250 or less. Those donations raised $12m out of
Obama pulled in far more individual donors, however, at 572 000, with 98% of them giving less than $250.
president told supporters in Miami on Tuesday that Romney would use his
cash bonanza to distort his record in what is shaping up as a knife
edge election on 6 November.
"The other side will spend more
money than at any time in United States history on negative ads that
have a very simple message - that say the economy is bad, and it is all
Despite spending two days on
the road campaigning, the US president rapped Romney for sitting down
last weekend at a retreat with wealthy fundraisers in Park City, Utah.
"I've got other responsibilities I'm attending to," Obama wrote.
e-mail was part of a blizzard of money shots fired out by campaigns as
the latest end-of-month fundraising deadline loomed.
compete fervently to top one another in month by month fundraising, as
their figures are seen by the media and pundits as a key metric of the
state of the race and the appeal of candidates.
In other appeals
on Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama told supporters they had one last
chance to offer a donation and have the chance to take part in what have
become regular dinners for supporters with her and her husband.
"Thanks for everything you're doing. Every little bit makes a difference," she wrote.
The Romney campaign meanwhile asked small donors for up to $3 for a chance to win a ride on the candidate's campaign bus.