2012 ELECTION

Bill Clinton - the reliable fundraiser

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama sought to take advantage Monday of the fundraising prowess of former President Bill Clinton, the most reliable deliverer of Democratic dollars, despite their history of testy relations and differences on campaign tactics.

Tied with his likely Republican challenger in the polls and facing a summer of economic uncertainty that could pull the United States back toward recession, Obama needs the help.

Clinton and Obama were sharing top billing at a trio of events in New York City, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars to Obama's re-election campaign.

The two have patched over a personal rift from the 2008 campaign when Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton in a bitter Democratic primary.

But Clinton caused some heartburn in Obama's campaign last week by remarking that Republican Mitt Romney had a "sterling" business record - an assertion that undercut Democrats' criticism of Romney's decisions at the private equity firm Bain Capital.

Clinton's larger point was that Obama is the better choice to steer the economy, and the White House denied that Clinton "made news."

Still, the televised remark gave Republicans campaign gold just as the government released a disappointing report saying the United States created far fewer new jobs in May than expected - a big political blow for Obama.

Obama and Clinton also are on opposite sides of a close Democratic congressional primary contest in New Jersey.

Clinton also campaigned last week for Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett. Barrett faces Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a special recall election contest on Tuesday but has seen little backing from the Democratic Party or its standard-bearer, Obama.

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