Obama campaign raises $42 million, and tries to beat back that billion-dollar number

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Barack Obama. ()
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One day after Mitt Romney announced he had raised $24 million in the fourth quarter, President Obama's re-election campaign released its own numbers.

In a video emailed to supporters, campaign manager Jim Messina said the campaign had raised a total of $68 million over the same time period, comprised of $42 million for the re-election campaign itself and $24 million to the Democratic National Committee.

Messina said the total came from more than 583,000 donors, more than 200,000 of whom were giving to the president for the first time.

Messina said it was "pretty good quarter," but also tried to tamp down broader expectations about the president's fund-raising, and make the point that every contribution matters.

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"The billion-dollar number is completely untrue," he said, referring to the pervasive idea that Obama's re-election might become the first campaign in history to raise a billion dollars.

"The president's doing all he can to get on the trail and raise support for this campaign," Messina said. "But look, he has a day job, and his schedule just doesn't allow him to do very much fund-raising. So he's relying on you and me to do our parts to help build this campaign."