President Barack Obama
Handout  /  REUTERS
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with members of the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team during a phone call from Air Force One, August 1, 2012.
By
NBC News
updated 8/2/2012 8:06:51 AM ET 2012-08-02T12:06:51

For months, President Barack Obama has urged his supporters to donate money to his campaign, warning that his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will likely outpace him in fundraising. Now, for the first time this election cycle, Obama is putting some of his own money into his war chest.

On Tuesday, the Obama campaign released a YouTube video that shows the president donating $5,000 – the federal maximum allowed per person – to his campaign fund. The video opens with the president sitting at a computer, telling his supporters: “First of all, I think everybody should know that I really care about this campaign and I believe in what our administration is doing and I want to make sure that folks know I’m not just talking the talk, I’m walking the walk.”

Watch the video

He assures voters that the first lady is on board: “I have cleared this with Michelle; I want everybody to know.”

But the issue of campaign finance is no laughing matter for team Obama (which includes the Obama Campaign, Obama Victory fund and the Democratic National Committee) which has been outpaced in fundraising for the past two months by team Romney (the Romney Campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Republican National Committee Victory Fund).

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The Obama campaign remains on top, with nearly $100 million in its coffers, according to federal election data at opensecrets.org. The Romney campaign, by contrast, has slightly more than $20 million.

Still, Republican-leaning super PACs have trounced their Democratic counterparts when it comes to hauling in cash. By all accounts, the super PACs have tipped the overall fundraising scales in the Republicans’ direction.

It is not unusual for candidates to donate to their own campaign. According to Romney aides, he and his wife each donated $75,000 to the Romney re-election effort including the RNC and Romney Victory Fund in May.

But for Obama, this is a shift. In 2008, then-candidate Obama did not contribute to his campaign, according to an Obama for America official.

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