Jansing and Co | March 21, 2012
>> ben labolt. good morning, ben .
>> thanks for having me on.
>> the president's super pac raised just $2 million in february. less than santorum, less than newt gingrich . obviously less than mitt romney . are you worried? is that where you're vulnerable?
>> what we're focused on is what we can control, which is donations to our campaign and expanding our donor base. we've had over 1.6 million donors to our campaign. the average contribution to the campaign is $59 or less. we can go back to them over and over again throughout the campaign --
>> it's a fair argument in that you want people to believe that you are the candidate that a lot of people support. when you look at the difference between rick santorum 's campaign and mitt romney 's campaign and who's giving the money it's stark. you definitely have an argument there. but you have to keep up with the money, don't you, both on your side and on the super pac's side?
>> there are oil donors out there who are pouring millions and millions of dollars against the president because they're trying to maintain subsidies for their oil and gas companies. we're anticipating that. but ultimately republicans are betting they can win this thing on the air. we're betting we can win it on the ground. our supporters, reaching out to their networks in states, talking about the president's vision of building an economy that lasts where hard work and responsibility are rewarded an everybody plays by the same set of rules.
>> i want to talk to you about where the president is going later today . "the washington post " has been writing about how your high-dollar donations are lagging. why and can a ground game really make up for that?
>> well, the truth is, i think we've had many contributions from small-dollar donors and those who can afford to give a little bit more. i think what you're seeing on the republican side , if you look at romney 's numbers and santorum's numbers are a lack of enthusiasm for the republican field. and that's echoed on the ground. turn-out's been down from 2008 in key states like nevada and florida and iowa. states that will decide the election in november. last night in illinois while he did win a victory here, only 21% of illinois republicans said they strongly supported mitt romney .
>> but for your campaign, why do you think the high-dollar donors are lagging?
>> well, we have about 1.6 million donors to the campaign so far. we had 1 million donors by this point in the race the last time around. but we are asking our donors to engage now because what we're doing on the ground will provide us with the decisive edge in november. and that investment needs to happen today.
>> let me talk about the president, what he's doing today. air force one is out there. he's kicking off this four-state energy tour as gas prices continue to rise. how, for example, does the president's energy plan differ from mitt romney 's?
>> well, the president supports on "all of the above" strategy. domestic oil and gas production has gone up each year he's been in office. we're at an eight-year high. he's also reducing our dependence on foreign oil . governor romney wants to maintain $4 billion annual subsidies to oil and gas companies. the president wants to repeal those. governor romney has criticized raising fuel economy standards that are saving consumers at the pump. it will save consumers $8,000 per vehicle when they're fully implemented. and the president initiated that historic deal with the automakers. those standards have been doubled. drilling and drilling alone is not enough. governor romney says his strategy to bring gas prices down is to drill in the gulf. we've issued hundreds of permits. we are drilling across the gulf. but that's not enough to get us where we need to be. we need an "all of the above" energy strategy and we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil so we're not vulnerable to these spikes in the global oil market.
>> a little preview of what we expect to hear from the president over the next couple of days. ben , thank you very much. let me