Washington (CNN) - Whether it's Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum or someone else, whoever wins the Republican presidential nomination will enter the general election at a significant financial disadvantage.
President Obama currently has more than $100 million at his disposal for his re-election effort, thanks to his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
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Romney's most recent cash-on-hand figure - $7.3 million - looks paltry in comparison. And Santorum's $2.6 million is even more worrying.
But the Republican National Committee is pointing to a sizeable pot of money that they can immediately share with the nominee once the party settles on a candidate.
It's an important $21 million lifeline called the RNC Presidential Trust, which is chaired by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Chairman and a potential vice presidential pick.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN Thursday that with Ryan's fundraising help, the trust is now fully funded, meaning the Republican presidential nominee won't be cash-starved once the general election fight begins.
Under Federal Election Commission rules, the RNC can coordinate with the presidential nominee on how that money - $21.6 million to be precise - is spent.
The seed money, which will come out of the roughly $30 million the RNC will have on hand by the end of March, can pay for office space, staff, travel or whatever the Republican nominee needs to hit the ground running.
"Whoever our nominee will end up being, that nominee is going to be needing some serious money," Priebus told CNN.
"We have decided to take this $21 million right now and set it aside as a bridge loan for the Republican nominee, so that as soon as they are the presumptive nominee, they will have $21 million plus immediately so that they can recharge their batteries."
RNC officials are touting the trust as another sign that Priebus rescued the committee back from financial disaster after taking over the chairmanship in January 2011, when the RNC had more than $23 million in debt.