PARMA, Ohio — President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod downplayed Mitt Romney's more than $100 million fundraising haul in June.
"Congratulations, they had a good month," he snickered, hours after the Romney campaign announced that the combined Romney Victory Fund raided more than nine-figures last month.
"I mean, I don’t think that — ultimately — that this race will be determined on monthly fundraising," he added, noting that the campaign has always maintained they would be outspent by the combined Republican effort including their super PACs.
Asked if that meant that he believed the race wouldn't come down to money, Axelrod said that in the end, it's all about the candidate.
"I think ultimately you can have all the money you want, but if you don’t have the right candidate and the right message, you know, you’re not gonna…," he said, his voice trailing off. "You know they’ve spent an awful lot of money in the last few months, and it’s hard to see what that bought them."
Axelrod repeated the campaign's assertion that the Romney campaign released the figure to try to deflect from several days of bad news.
"It seems to me that they were looking for some good news today, and this is the best they had," he said.
Axelrod said he was not concerned that the Republican haul would give them the ability to catch up to the Obama campaign's lead on the ground.
"I don't think you buy grassroots," Axelrod said, saying it's "late in the game" to be starting to build an organization."
"You either inspire activity at the grassroots or you don't, and I don't see anything to suggest to me that that's gonna be Gov. Romney's strength in this race," he added.