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Special Report

Will Strong Fundraising Spell Victory for Obama?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 13, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM MESSINA, OBAMA RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN: Step back and take a look at the larger budget picture. Globally we raise more than $86 million, more than $47 million for Obama for America and more than $38 million for the DNC.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: The reality is it's very good at chasing down big donors, but he hasn't done a very good job at creating jobs. I don't think any amount of money is gonna save a president who right now even with this money, even with -- even with the money coming in, apparently in to his coffers, he is not going to have the ability, I don't think, to pull the wool over the American people's eyes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Before the break we asked you, should Republicans be worried about President Obama $86 million fundraising quarter? 36 percent said yes, 64 percent said no in this unscientific poll.

Before we go to this discussion, we want to wrap up what we are getting out of this meeting that just wrapped up at the White House. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is saying that the meeting ended abruptly, saying that the president walked out. The meeting ended with the president abruptly walking out of the meeting.

Now a Democratic source familiar with the discussion said this. The discussion dealt with discretionary and mandatory spending. They are coming back tomorrow on the agenda and forcing mechanisms, payroll, and other spending cuts. The president said they have until Friday to figure out what they are going to do, if they can do a big deal, what's possible.

Eric Cantor, according to this source, made a push for short-term extension. The president said no, also conveyed, not an exact quote, that we can't keep sitting in our quarters. And then they president brought up the Moody's warning about the AAA credit rating. I wanted to give you the latest that we are getting from sources about that meeting.

We're back with the panel talking fundraising numbers. Juan, it was staggering, the $86 million for second quarter. I mean it is the president's campaign and the DNC, but big dollars.

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: It's huge dollars, and, ya know, it far surpasses what President Bush was able to do at this point in the '04 cycle as the incumbent. And it's an indication that while people were thinking, ya know, maybe the left is not that enthusiastic about President Obama, the money is there, because it came not from what I thought was gonna be the case, the Wall Street, Hollywood, liberal salons, but the average donation was, I think, about $60. That is pretty strong for President Obama at this point.

But it really also points out if you look at Mitt Romney who is the leader among the Republicans right now with $18 million, what a distance. There is just silence in terms of the big fundraisers helping to pick a Republican candidate.

BAIER: But what about Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman's take that when it comes down to it the amount of money the president and his campaign take in is not going to propel them past economic problems that he has to sell in the electorate? Is that a good spin for the RNC chairman?

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: I agree that the jobs number is, ya know, much more of an influence on his re-election than his fundraising numbers. But the Republicans would have loved to have had these fundraising numbers. And actually, Chairman Priebus' premise, that he tried to actually say they came from big fat cats and everything, and he is wrong. And Juan is right.

The president had more than 500 -- the Democrats and the president combined had more than 550,000 donors giving an average of $69. Those are small donations. Those people will give again. And that is gonna excite the grassroots. Money will bring more money. And as Juan pointed out, the left is not asleep and they're not dispirited. And it does not mean that a Republican can't beat him, it just means he has a lot more money than they do at this point and they would love to have it.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: In a re-election campaign, the money has one use. It's gonna have no effect on getting Obama out of the box on explaining high unemployment, et cetera, the failure of the economy. It's gonna be used on negative advertising. It's gonna be the dirtiest campaign you have ever seen. It's gonna be almost $1 billion of sheer attacks because it's essentially a referendum on Obama. Unless the Democrats make the personality or the baggage or the history of the Republican the issue, and that's what you do if you're an incumbent if you have a lot of money. It's going to be an incredibly negative campaign.

BAIER: To the GOP side quickly, A.B., do you see Michele Bachmann still surging in Iowa?

STODDARD: Oh she is. In fact, there's a recent poll out of Iowa that shows that she has the advantage in the intensity gap. The voters most closely following the caucuses and the race there, the most intensely, ya know, devoted political activists really love Michele Bachmann. That's a very good barometer for the straw poll coming up so quickly in August and then the caucuses in January, just a few months later.

BAIER: One month from tomorrow, the GOP debate on Fox News channel in Ames, Iowa. That is two days before the straw poll it's going to be big deal.

WILLIAMS: Is it a big deal. And, let me just say that we don't know about Bachmann's numbers because she got in so late, but she has $3 million left over from her congressional race. And if she becomes the anti-, not-Romney candidate, more money for Bachmann.

BAIER: That's it. But stay tuned to see a really big story out of Texas. More on this on the online show in just a bit.

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