Dems told not to expect Obama money

Top officials from the Democratic National Committee and President Obama's reelection campaign have warned the party's House and Senate committees not to expect any financial help this year, a Democratic source confirmed Monday.

Obama campaign staffers Jim Messina and David Plouffe told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that no cash transfers to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee or Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will take place ahead of the election in November.

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But Obama and other White House officials will still appear at fundraisers for those committees on a limited basis.

The decision to make clear ahead of time that its House and Senate committees are on their own financially reflects a realization that Obama's reelection efforts will require everything the campaign can raise — even with Obama's decision in February to give his blessing to a super-PAC that could alleviate some of the ad-buying pressure on his official campaign.

It also suggests that despite Democrats' perilous control over the Senate and aspirations to regain control of the House, reelecting the Democratic president will remain the party's top priority.

"They realize they're falling short of their goal, and they're going to need every dollar for the president's efforts," said Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer. "It's very telling that clearly they don't think investing in the House or the Senate gives them a good shot."

The RNC declined to comment on whether Republicans would transfer any funds to their House and Senate committees.

Democrats point out privately that Obama's reelection is perhaps the biggest factor in determining the success of Democrats down-ballot, and that Obama's extensive get-out-the-vote operation will help all Democrats in November.

Democrats set an aggressive pace with fundraising in November, but Obama's reelection fundraising appears unlikely to hit the $1 billion mark that many had projected in 2011. Obama's campaign had almost $76 million in the bank at the end of January, added to another $16 million for the DNC. The RNC had $23 million cash on hand, but that didn't include what was raised by the GOP candidates.

Senate Democrats have about $2 million more cash than Senate Republicans, but House Republicans have about $4.5 million more than House Democrats.

Obama's reelection campaign did not respond to messages left seeking comment about the decision, first reported by Politico, but DSCC spokesman Matt Canter said Democrats across the country were motivated by the goal of keeping the Tea Party and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the minority.

"That is why Democratic senators and candidates will have the resources to win in November," said Canter. "We appreciate OFA's cooperation with our efforts and look forward to even more support from the President's campaign and the DNC."

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