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Romney raised $77 million in May, outperforming Obama effort for first time

The Mitt Romney campaign and the Republican Party reported Thursday raising a combined $76.8 million last month, nearly doubling its April effort and outpacing President Obama’s campaign and the Democratic Party.

The Obama campaign said it and the Democratic Party raised a combined $60 million in May -- $16.4 million more than in April.

The May totals mark the first time that Romney has outperformed Obama on fundraising.

The combined Romney effort -- Romney for President, Romney Victory National Finance and the Republican National Committee -- also reported $100 million cash on hand.

“It is clear that people aren't willing to buy into the ‘hope & change’ again,” said Spencer Zwick, chairman of Romney Victory.

Through May, Obama and Democratic groups backing his campaign have raised about $510 million. Romney and Republicans supporting him have brought in more than $476 million.

In addition, Republican super PACs have raised more than their Democratic counterparts, helping Romney keep pace with Obama.

The Obama campaign website said more than 2.2 million donors have contributed so far and gave a “big thanks” to the 572,000 people who donated last month.

Romney, stepping up his criticism Thursday of Obama while campaigning and raising money in Missouri.

In a speech at a factory in St. Louis, Romney accused Obama not only of a failure of policy, but of "a moral failure of tragic proportions."

Obama was mixing more fundraising with official business Thursday as he wrapped up a two-day West Coast trip that included four fundraisers on Wednesday. He started the day under a sweltering sun in the Los Angeles area at a breakfast fundraiser for about 300 people. Tickets started at $2,500.

Obama campaign officials noted that Romney's fundraising surge could be temporary and that it reflects his recently sealed standing as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, which allows him to raise more general election money. It also lets him raise money jointly for his campaign and for the Republican Party.

"We knew this day would come," said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

Obama has been an active fundraiser and lately has stepped up the number of events he holds with donors. As of Thursday, the president has done 153 fundraisers since filing as a candidate for re-election on April 4, 2011, according to statistics kept by CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.