Obama 2012: $1 billion fund-raising reports “baseless,” Messina says

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CHICAGO–President Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said it is “baseless” that Obama wants to raise $1 billion for his re-election, with the comment coming as Obama hits Chicago Thursday afternoon to launch a massive fund-raising drive for a second term.

“We’ll raise enough funds to compete and win, and that will take a significant amount given the vast amounts GOP-allied groups are already raising. But this pie in the sky speculation about a billion dollars is baseless,” Messina said.

Messina was reacting to news reports that Obama’s fund-raising team was aiming for $1 billion, which would have surpassed the $750 million collected for Obama’s 2008 run. Messina had told donors at earlier briefings only that he was looking for “north of $750 million,” a reference to 2008.

Obama headlines three events in Chicago on Thursday, with ticket prices ranging from $100 to $35,800 per-person.

The low dollar event is at Navy Pier; Obama will be introduced by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel and Emanuel will be introduced by White House senior advisor David Plouffe, who was Obama’s 2008 campaign manager.

Bulls stars past present and past–Derrick Rose (on the cover of the new Sports Illustrated) and B.J. Armstrong will be on the program and singer Colbie Caillat will perform. Bulls star center Joakim Noah will also be attending.

As the Obama 2012 campaign ramps up–headquartered in Chicago– the first fund-raising focus is going to be on major donor events while appeals are made to the 2008 grass-and-net-roots supporters are jazzed up about 2012.

Towards that, Messina in an e-mail to backers sent Wednesday night pivoted off of Obama’s speech earlier in the day outlining his debt-and-deficit reduction proposals.

“As we seek to build an organization based outside of Washington, President Obama’s speech also provides an unusually stark contrast — one all of us can use to start conversations with our friends and neighbors about what’s at stake in this election,” Messina wrote.

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