NewsNation | July 02, 2012
>>> back to politics now. new signs president obama 's feeling the pressure when it comes to campaign fund raising . "the daily beast " has obtained an 18-minute conference call in which the president makes a candid plea for his top donors to give and give now. the article describes the president as sounding weary and "maybe a tad bit worried." that call for cash came just as the romney campaign announced it raised more than $4.5 million in a 24-hour period after the supreme court 's health care ruling. let's bring in the associate editor and columnist for the hill, jimmy williams and msnbc contributor, as well. good afternoon to both of you. abia, i want to read more about what the president said in his call. this is just an excerpt of that 18-minute call. saying in part, "in 2011 , everything was new and exciting. now i'm the incumbent president. i've got gray hair and turns out change is hard. especially when you've got an obstructionist republican congress ." should democrats be more concerned about the content of the call or the tone of that call?
>> well, i mean, the tone is very humbled by his political position and he really feels that he's going to -- he directly says that on the call. he's going to be the first president to be outspent in his reelection if things don't change. and so i think that is a concern of democrats. democrats should worry about the -- forces intend to oust president obama and will stop at no amount of money to spend on commercials to do so. i think that the labor unions and democratic interest groups and big democratic donors have to be very concerned that mitt romney could end up outspending the president and winning.
>> jimmy, our latest nbc news " wall street journal " poll shows that enthusiasm is down among the president's key voting blocks from 2008 . down 17 points among those between 17 and 34, 11 points among independents. jimmy, is the fund raising lag a function of that lack of enthusiasm? or are some donors simply deciding to wait until later to give in this race?
>> well, i think you have a couple of things happening. first and foremost, i don't doubt for a second that there are people who are tuning out. it's summertime. this is traditional that we see this. but at the same time, if i were at the obama campaign headquarters in chicago, i would be genuinely worried. at the end of the day , do i think barack obama was going to be outspent? yes, probably. because --
>> yeah, i do. i do. and i don't know that barack obama raises $1 billion, if he does, great, that's about $200 million more than he raised last time. but don't -- here's the thing, corporations have more money than people even though they're not people according to mitt romney . so they're going to raise $1 billion, the koch brothers said they'll spend $400 million of their own money. believe me, they will do that. the question becomes, is what happens in the battleground states and we've seen the latest nbc " wall street journal " polls where obama is increasing his lead because of direct advertising and spending in those states. it's a smart move. you don't have to spend in quantity, you have to spend in quality. and that's what the obama campaign is doing.
>> the super pacs raised more than three times the amount of the super pac supporting the president. here's what the president said on the conference call regarding the outside cash specifically. "the special interest that are financing my opponent's campaign are just going to consolidate themselves." they're going to run congress, they're going to run the white house , as well. a.b., do you think this is an argument that's going to motivate obama 's top donors to give more?
>> i don't know the answer to that because he was enjoying some energy among his donors after the 2010 elections when republicans won an historic majority in the midterm elections and health care was such an unpopular issue. the economy was doing badly. republicans won women for the first time. and there was enthusiasm among his base now. i think a lot of these people -- i think donors are not tuned out in the summer. i think if they intend to give this fall and they're not giving, that's just -- that's bizarre. if the obama team is sounding the alarm, they're going to give now.
>> and they -- but they know -- they know that super pacs are going to dominate this race the whole entire landscape has changed, that a very few number of billionaires are able to totally change the picture. money wise for mitt romney . so if they really are -- if they're capable of being spooked by this, they're going to listen and give, but i think they've really decided that things aren't going well. the economy is in bad shape and they're sick of writing checks. and i think that's the problem for the obama team is that the picture's not going to change much. and so unless they see romney really take a lead in the polls, it's going to be hard for the obama team to convince their donors to loosen up the checkbooks.
>> yes or no, a.b., do you think the president gets outraised this cycle?
>> i do agree with jimmy on that.
>> see how quick that was?
>> this is why i love a.b. stoddard.