Romney's Fundraising Leaps as Candidate Fumbles

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After another impressive fundraising month, Mitt Romney finds himself exactly where he was before the summer began: second place.

Romney's campaign announced Monday it raised $101.3 million in July, while President Barack Obama's team tweeted it received more than $75 million last month.

"Americans are clearly looking for a change in the White House," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. "While President Obama claims that his economic plan 'worked,' the American people know that his policies haven't worked and he has failed to fix our economy."

Yet national polls show Obama ahead of Romney, 47.7% to 44.3% according to an average tally by RealClearPolitics. The analysis puts the incumbent in the lead in nine of 10 swing states.

The former Massachusetts governor's haul marks the second-straight month that his camp has raised more than $100 million, and the third consecutive month he has outraised Obama.

The problem for Romney is that his private equity history and a rough trip abroad haven't boosted his numbers.

Political consultants have generally agreed that Democratic attacks against Romney's record at Bain Capital have tarnished the candidate's image in battleground states.

The Republican's campaign suffered another road bump after Romney made a couple of comments abroad that drew criticisms from foreign leaders.

The first was a comment in Great Britain about a private security firm at the London Summer Olympics not having enough staff. Romney also called the preparation for the even "disconcerting."

British Prime Minister David Cameron used the opportunity to make a jab at Romney, who headed organization of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics: "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world ... Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."

Romney's second flub came in Israel after he said the country's economic successes compared to Palestine were the result of cultural differences.

A senior Palestinian official rebuked the comment as racist: "It is a racist statement, and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation."

Romney's campaign provided the traveling press corps with little opportunity to speak with the struggling candidate throughout the trip, which culminated in a video-recorded outburst at Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by a Romney spokesman who blurted to reporters (who had been heckling the candidate and his team for comments): "Kiss my a**. This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect."

For all of Romney's recent woes, Obama hasn't shown sustained momentum to separate himself from his GOP opponent.

The monthly jobs report released last Friday showed nonfarm payrolls swelled by 163,000 in July, much better than anticipated, but the unemployment rate still ticked up to 8.3% from June's 8.2%.

The U.S. manufacturing sector -- whose resurgence was once viewed as a hallmark of Obama's term -- contracted for the second consecutive month in July. Prior to June's slip, the factory sector hadn't contracted since July 2009, when the United States was still climbing out of the deep recession that followed the financial crisis.

With less than 100 days until the election, neither candidate appears to have a clear advantage heading into the stretch run. Though Obama and Romney will continue to rely on historic fundraising to stimulate some headway in the polls, voters aren't responding just yet.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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