Obama spending tops sum raised

Posted: August 22, 2012

WASHINGTON - Facing strong fund-raising from his Republican challenger, President Obama and Democrats spent more than they brought in last month as the president expanded his campaign operations and purchased millions of dollars in television advertising to compete with rival Mitt Romney.

New campaign finance reports out Monday show Obama's campaign spent about $59 million in July, much of it on ads and staff. That's compared with about $49.2 million in receipts during the same period, Federal Election Commission data show.

Obama's campaign has so far been losing the money race to Romney and the Republicans, who have out-raised the president in May, June, and July. Romney and the GOP reported a combined $101 million in fund-raising last month, while Obama and the Democrats said they raised $75 million.

Early reports showed the Democratic National Committee spent about $14 million in coordinated advertising with Obama. That's as the DNC raised roughly $10 million in July while also spending $32 million, leaving the party with about $15.4 million in the bank by month's end.

The fund-raising disparity has been so significant that Obama campaign officials have publicly stated they expect to be out-raised by Romney. The GOP candidate has enjoyed not only significant contributions to his campaign and party, but also millions of dollars in cash to outside "super" political groups running ads on his behalf.

"At some point, with all of the money spent on the air on the GOP side, advertising will hit a saturation point," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. "And that's why the unparalleled ground organization we're building - which can't be replicated in the time remaining - could provide us with the decisive edge."

Super PACs working on behalf of both Romney and Obama reported modest fund-raising hauls in July. The pro-Romney Restore Our Future, which just announced $10 million in new ad buys, raised $7.5 million last month, and Obama-supportive Priorities USA Action said it brought in $4.8 million during the same period.

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