Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a CNN interview Wednesday he'll provide greater assistance to President Barack Obama's re-election bid by assuming a fund-raising role with the super PAC Priorities USA than he would as a co-chairman of Obama's campaign, a position he has relinquished.
Emanuel will assist the Democratic group raise money ahead of November's general election, and attempt to close the gap between Priorities, which brought in $10 million in August, and Republican-aligned groups, which have brought in much higher totals. Emanuel's interview will appear on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" at 6 p.m. ET.
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"Look, there's 61 days left in the campaign," Emanuel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "And the question is would I be more helpful to the president's re-election as co-chair of the campaign or helping Priorities. Helping not his campaign, but his efforts. I'm trying to help them."
The former Illinois congressman and White House chief of staff said he would participate in "one on one conversations" as part of his role with Priorities. An official with the group said Emanuel has already begun making phone calls, and attended an event for Priorities on Wednesday.
Previously he held the honorary title of "co-chairman" on Obama's campaign. Legally, super PACs and campaigns are not permitted to coordinate on helping politicians get elected to office.
For the past several months, Obama's campaign effort has been out-raised by Romney's. In July the Democrats brought in $75 million and the Republicans raised just over $100 million.
That fund-raising gap has been reflected in the figures for independent groups like Priorities USA. While the group brought in their highest monthly total in August, they have lagged behind independent Republican groups such as American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, Restore Our Future, and Americans for Prosperity, which are supporting GOP challenger Mitt Romney's campaign.
Emanuel said Wednesday there was "a lot more special interest money on the other side," meaning Priorities and other Democratic groups have their work cut out for them in combating a sizable fund-raising deficit.
He called the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which helped make possible the independent spending groups known as super PACs, the "worst decision by a court in 50 years."
Obama's re-election campaign announced in February it would begin using administration and campaign aides to fundraise for Priorities, a change from their previous position.
Obama has been an outspoken critic of current campaign financing laws, in particular of the Citizens United court ruling.
Despite the gap between Priorities and Republican groups, Emanuel said Wednesday that message, not money, would be the decider in the 2012 election.
"Resources are always important, but they don't trump a message," he said. "They don't trump an interest in a candidate. The public is not very excited in Mitt Romney. I'd rather have the public excited about a candidate like they feel like Barack Obama."
Asked if he was worried about the chasm between Republican and Democratic fund-raising, Emanuel quipped, "I'm Jewish. I was born worried."
CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.