Cruz campaign highlights super PAC fundraising numbers

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leaves a policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 23, 2015.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leaves a policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 23, 2015.

Sen. Ted Cruz raised $10 million in his first full-quarter fundraising period as a presidential candidate, his campaign said on Monday.

Cruz has "one of the strongest war chests among those running for president," the release said, boasting a $51 million fundraising total since March that includes campaign and super PAC fundraising hauls. The statement did not mention the fact that PACs and campaigns are legally forbidden from working together and accordingly have separate war chests.

RELATED: Pro-Clinton super PAC: We raised $15.6 million this quarter

Cruz's $51 million fundraising total includes $4.3 million from first-quarter fundraising, $10 million in second-quarter funds they're announcing this week, and the $37 million raised by pro-Cruz PACs.

Since announcing his candidacy, Cruz has raked in 175,000 contributions with an average donation of $81, the campaign said in the release. Until the campaigns and PAC file with the Federal Election Commission, these numbers cannot be independently verified. By releasing them, the campaign may be attempting to show that there’s money behind their grassroots support. It also give them the chance to capture the news cycle before the rest of the candidates — including Jeb Bush, long seen as the fundraising champion of the 2016 Republican field — announce their totals.

“The grassroots energy and support we are seeing is overwhelming,” Cruz said in the release. “In Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina  — and all across the country — we are seeing courageous conservatives coming together for real change.”

Grassroots supporters have long buoyed Cruz, but some have questioned whether it would be enough for the far-right conservative — famous for shutting down the government over Obamacare  could compete against the likes of Bush and Scott Walker, who both have strong fundraising roots across the country.

The only other candidate to announce second-quarter fundraising hauls ahead of the final FEC filing deadline is Dr. Ben Carson, who raised $8.3 million.