By KEN THOMAS
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic party raised $71 million in June, well below the $106 million hauled in by rival Mitt Romney and the Republican party during the same period.
It was the second straight month that Romney has raised more money than Obama as the two campaigns prepare for the November election.
Obama's campaign says in an email to supporters that June was their best fundraising month of the campaign. But they tell supporters, "We still got beat. Handily."
Ann Marie Habershaw, the campaign's chief operating officer, says in the email that if they lose the election, "it will be because we didn't close the gap enough when we had the chance."
Obama officials have warned the fundraising deficit could harm the president's chances of winning re-election.
The president sought to increase his fundraising haul Monday afternoon with two intimate campaign fundraisers at a Washington hotel.
Tickets cost $40,000 per person, with 20 attendees at each event. The fundraisers were closed to reporters.
The Obama campaign said the proceeds will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
Obama attended the events hours after calling on Congress to let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire.
Associated Press writer Stacy A. Anderson contributed to this report.
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