In desperate need of some good news, Gov. Rick Perry released fundraising numbers this morning that show he raised more than $17 million for his presidential bid in the first seven weeks of his campaign and has more than $15 million in cash on hand.
Perry's staff says the GOP contender received donations from more than 22,000 unique contributors in all 50 states in the 49 days between Aug. 13 — the day he announced — and Sept. 30. It's unclear how much of the money was raised in the first half of the fundraising period, versus in recent weeks, when his campaign appeared to stumble.
By comparison, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner and Perry's lead opponent, raised $18 million during his first three-month fundraising period.
"The generous contributions from Americans across the nation prove the overwhelming support for Gov. Perry's principled, conservative leadership and vision to get America working again," his campaign manager, Rob Johnson, said in a press release.
The strong fundraising totals are the first boost Perry has received in the last few weeks, between two less-than-stellar debate performances, a news report that hunting land his family leased was once known by a derogatory slur and slipping poll numbers.
While he jumped to the top of the polls and ahead of Romney immediately after he joined the race, in recent weeks, national polls have shown him trailing Romney — and in some cases even Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain.