Obama effort spends more in June than it takes in

July 21, 2012 - 4:40 AM
Obama 2012

President Barack Obama takes a moment of silence for the events in Colorado during a campaign stop in Fort Myers, Fla., Friday, July 19, 2012. Obama said the tragic movie theater shooting in Colorado that left 12 people dead is a reminder that life is fragile. He says the event "reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family." (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid a heavy barrage of advertising by opposing "super" political groups, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign spent more than it collected in June. While outraised again by Republican Mitt Romney, Obama ended the month with a hefty $97.5 million in the bank.

June was the second consecutive month in which Romney brought in more money than Obama, finance reports filed Friday show. Romney's money advantage prompted Obama's campaign advisers to warn earlier this month that the president could lose the election if the financial disparity continued.

Obama tried to answer the super PACs supporting Romney by spending $38.2 million on television advertising. Romney spent less than a third of that — $10.4 million — on TV time.

Romney's campaign nearly doubled its spending in June compared with the previous month, underscoring the close proximity of the November general election in which Republicans hope to unseat Obama and, in part, dismantle the president's signature health care overhaul.

Much of Romney's financial advantage — he raised $106 million last month with the help of the Republican Party — came from larger donations in a handful of battleground states. Those included Florida, where the Romney Victory Fund pulled in about $4.4 million in individual contributions, records show.

Competing fiercely to keep the presidency, Obama reported more than $46 million in June and total spending of $58 million. The Democratic Party reported $37.5 million in the bank.

Romney, during the same period, reported receipts of $33 million and spending of $27.5 million for June. The challenger's cash on hand was almost a mirror image of Obama's and the DNC's, as Romney reported $22.5 million in the bank and the Republican National Committee said it had $89.4 million.

Romney retains a vast advantage overall when super PACs working in the former Massachusetts governor's favor are factored in. Groups like American Crossroads and Restore Our Future have already spent tens of millions of dollars on pricey television ads to either attack Obama or specifically promote Romney's candidacy.

Wealthy, repeat donors are helping independent Republican groups maintain their financial strength. They include casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who donated a combined $10 million last month; and Texas homebuilder Bob Perry, one of the largest GOP super PAC donors, who gave another $2 million on June 1.

For Obama's part, a handful of super PACs helping his re-election pulled in a combined $25 million in June. Those contributions included a $1 million contribution to Priorities USA Action from actor Morgan Freeman, who joined a list of Hollywood figures like Steven Spielberg trying to help Obama secure a second term.

Beyond the dollar amounts, the president's campaign released an updated list of big-dollar fundraisers, known as "bundlers," who have collected at least $50,000 toward his re-election. Obama named 638 bundlers, adding 106 more to his total earlier this year. Romney does not list his bundlers, even though he has received repeated calls during the campaign to identify them.

Both candidates enjoyed a wide swath of contributions from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, although Romney's financial reports listed higher dollar amounts in key battleground states like Florida, Michigan and New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Obama tends to receive more contributions dollar-wise from donors who give less than $200; such small amounts do not have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

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Kuhnhenn reported from Washington and Gillum from Tucson, Ariz.

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