WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, together with the Democratic National Committee, raised more than $68 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina said on Thursday.
Messina told supporters in a video message that 98 percent of the donations were made up of $250 or less, illustrating growing grassroots support for Obama, a Democrat, as he works to hold on to the White House in November's election.
The fourth quarter fundraising haul puts the Obama campaign and DNC fundraising at over $200 million for the year. The two groups had raised roughly $155 million through the end of September.
The campaign beat its goal of raising $60 million in the final three months of 2011.
Obama's fundraising totals dwarf those of Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, whose campaign said on Wednesday it had raised $24 million in the fourth quarter.
In the video, which was sent by email to Obama supporters, Messina again rejected the expectation that the campaign would raise $1 billion for the re-election effort, which he said was giving donors the false impression that Obama did not need their money.
The Obama team is shooting to top the roughly $750 million it raised for the president's successful White House bid in 2008.
Reporting By Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott and Vicki Allen