Aiming to squeeze some lemonade out of a lemon, the Obama campaign is pushing hard for donations in the wake of news that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had outraised the president's re-election effort for the first time in May.
Ann Marie Habershaw, the Obama campaign's chief operating officer, told supporters in a blog post published Friday that last month was "the first time that the Obama organization has been outraised by an opponent since 2007." She warned that "we are not guaranteed to win this election."
"If there's anyone still out there acting like we have this thing in the bag, do me a favor and tell them they're dead wrong," Habershaw wrote. "Now that Mitt Romney has locked up his party's nomination, yesterday's numbers are only the beginning. The Republican big-dollar donors and special-interest cash will only keep coming out of the woodwork, lining up to support him."
The message caps a steady and increasingly doom-laden series of entreaties by the campaign to step up the fundraising pace for the final stretch of the presidential campaign. Campaign manager Jim Messina wrote in an e-mail that "we got beat" on money, and urged supporters to "fight like hell and win this thing."
The call-to-arms follows a remarkable surge in fundraising by Romney, who brought in $76.8 million last month after locking up the GOP nomination. The total overshadowed Obama's own monthly fundraising tally of $60 million, which was his best so far in 2012.