Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised $76.8 million in May, outpacing President Obama in the first full head-to-head month of the campaign.
The president’s reelection campaign said Thursday that it had raised $60 million in May, itself an improvement of more than 30 percent from April. But despite a hard push — enlisting the help of celebrities like George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker — the president was still outpaced by his Republican rival for the first time in the 2012 campaign.
“Our strong fundraising is a sign that Americans are tired of President Obama’s broken promises and want a change of direction in the White House,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement. “We will continue the hard work of raising the resources to defeat President Obama so that we can elect Mitt Romney and Republicans up and down the ballot to get our country on the right track again.”
The Romney campaign said it received nearly 300,000 donations under $250 in May, an encouraging sign for an organization that had struggled during the primaries to draw small-dollar donors to the effort. Paired with earlier fundraising efforts, the joint fund between the Romney campaign and the RNC has more than $107 million in cash on hand.
“We are encouraged by the financial support from a broad range of voters. To them, whether they are Republican, Democrat, independent, a first-time political donor or a former Obama donor, this is not just a campaign; it’s an opportunity for the country,” said Romney finance chairman Spencer Zwick in a statement. “It is clear that people aren’t willing to buy into ‘hope and change’ again. Voters are making an investment because they believe that it will benefit the country.”
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) downplayed the $16 million fundraising disparity Thursday, saying Romney benefited from having just inaugurated his joint fundraising committee with the RNC, a move that allowed him to tap more money from individual donors.
“It’s not really surprising the Republicans were able to pull down a lot of low hanging fruit,” Wasserman Schultz told MSNBC. “The Romney campaign and the RNC just formed their joint fundraising committee.”
The DNC head said she was more concerned about the conservative super-PAC fundraising, which has also far outpaced Democratic efforts.