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Obama plays the poor man in campaign fundraising pitches

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Saturday, June, 30, 2012: President Obama walks across the South Lawn of the White House as he prepares to board Marine One to Camp David, Md. (AP)

President Obama, the most prolific fundraiser in U.S. presidential campaign history, returned Saturday to a fundraising strategy that increasingly appears more like tin cup rattling.

Since losing the monthly fundraising battle for the first time in May to Mitt Romney, the president appears to have changed his fundraising strategy to suggest he's just trying to keep pace.

“We might not out raise Mitt Romney,” the president said Saturday in an email to supporters. “But I am determined to keep the margin close enough that we can win this election the right way.”

The roughly $750 million raised by the Obama campaign during the 2008 election cycle essentially broke every fundraising record, including the most money and most donors.

The campaign accomplished that feat in large part by soliciting and collecting donations under $200 – many of them through the Internet and social media outlets such as Facebook and MySpace, which was relatively innovative at the time.  

Obama also eschews public financing to avoid the related spending limits, making him the first major-party candidate to reject taxpayer money for the general election since the system was instituted roughly 40 years ago.

In May, the joint fundraising effort Romney and the Republicans National Committee known as Romney Victory raised $76.8 million, roughly $16 million more than the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

“We got beat,” Jim Messina, Obama 2012 campaign manager told supporters afterward. “We knew this moment would come when Romney secured the nomination. What happens next is up to you."

Earlier this week, Obama sent an email to supporters that started, “I will be outspent.”

“I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far,” the fundraising letter continued.

David Heller, president of the Democratic strategy firm Main Street Communications, told FoxNews.com afterward that supporters are savvy enough to realize the situation is not exactly dire “but everybody understands this race is really, really close.”