President Obama this month participated in 33 fundraisers, a rate of just over one a day and more than eight times the number of fundraising events George W. Bush did in June 2004, the year of Bush’s reelection campaign.
The Obama fundraising tally – courtesy of the most trusted White House statistician, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller – suggests a president furiously grasping for cash as his campaign fails to meet its fundraising targets and suddenly finds itself outraised by Mitt Romney.
Bush did only four fundraisers in June 2004 and by the end of the month had attended 82 since the start of his campaign in 2003, less than half the 172 Obama has done since he filed for reelection in April 2011.
Obama’s aggressive fundraising runs up a large bill for taxpayers, who must foot many of the exorbitant costs of presidential travel, though a portion is paid for by the Obama campaign.
Obama has begun to try to make a virtue of losing the money race – which he won handily in 2004 – sending an email to supporters Tuesday titled “I will be outspent.” The missive suggested that Romney is taking money from nefarious outside groups and is a tool of the rich while Obama focuses on small donors and sticks to his day job.
“I’ve got other responsibilities I’m attending to,” Obama said.
But the stats and Obama’s schedule tell a different story – of a president constantly on the road raising money, repeatedly returning to the White House after midnight and then rolling into work late the next day.
Obama in June has gone digging for campaign gold in every part of the country, from New Hampshire to Florida to California.
Many of the events are small gatherings of elite, wealthy individuals who get a little intimate time with the president in return for tens of thousands of dollars in cash. The most ostentatious of these sessions was a June 14 A-List soiree at the home of Sarah Jessica Parker in New York City, which the first lady – who herself has participated in six fundraisers this month – also attended.
But Michelle, while picking up her fundraising pace, is still no match for the president. On June 1 and again on June 12 Obama held six fundraisers in a single day.