President George W. Bush’s campaign will report this week that he has already raised more than $120 million for his re-election bid, breaking his own record from the 2000 campaign, campaign officials said on Monday.
The figure put Bush well on his way toward his target of $170 million, far outdistancing the financial efforts of his Democratic rivals. In 2000, he raised $100 million, which at the time was a record.
Campaign officials said the more than $120 million was raised during 2003. By the end of September he had raised about $85 million.
Much of the money was raised at campaign fund-raisers around the country by Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, first lady Laura Bush and others. He has also received contributions over the Internet.
Bush was in St. Louis on Monday on a fund-raising trip. He is expected to continue raising money for several more months.
The money is for Bush’s Republican primary campaign, for which he is unopposed.
He is expected to spend much of it on advertising to promote his presidency and try to beat back Democratic challengers as well as an advertising blitz from Democratic-leaning special interest groups that can still raise unlimited soft-money contributions that national parties are banned from collecting.