No question, the presidential race can be a circus.
But a senior strategist with the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA took the metaphor to a new level Monday when he called Mitt Romney a "clown."
The comments from Bill Burton come after a report in the Daily Beast, noting a candid call for cash President Obama made while aboard Air Force One. In it, the president pleaded with top donors to get in the game and dig deep into their pockets so he can compete with an onslaught of money expected to come from Romney supporters.
"What they're trying to do, I imagine, is engage, you know, a large number of the folks who support President Obama but have been sitting on the sidelines," Burton told MSNBC Monday.
"They look at Mitt Romney and they say, is this clown really going to beat President Obama? And the answer is, well, maybe. If he has four or five times as much money as the president, then yes, he may well have a chance at winning in November."
"I think that's what Democrats have been trying to tell other Democrats, that there's a lot of money that's going to be involved here and Democrats need to come off the sidelines and get engaged if they haven't," Burton added.
Burton later told Fox News that he was speaking not in his own voice but the voice of the Democratic donors he was describing -- those who don't take Romney seriously enough and might not feel the urgency to give money to the Obama campaign and its allies. Burton said his point was that Romney is a formidable candidate and should not be regarded in such terms.
Fox News' James Rosen contributed to this report.