CBSN

Ted Cruz raised millions in first eight days campaigning

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to a crowd gathered at Liberty University to announce his presidential candidacy March 23, 2015 in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has raised $4 million since announcing his candidacy for president, according to his campaign.

"The support we've seen in just one week -- it's been one week since we announced -- the support has been breathtaking," Cruz said Tuesday to conservative radio star Dana Loesch. "The grassroots support we're seeing is phenomenal."

Aides say his campaign goal was to raise $1 million in the first week. The tea party-backed senator reportedly shattered after that benchmark just 24 hours after he officially declared his presidential aspirations at Liberty University. In the first three days, Cruz said that he had raked in $2 million -- $500,000 of which came from fundraising bundlers, according to Washington Post reports.

"Often you have an establishment candidate, usually the moderate, who will be well funded," Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler said. "Here we have a candidate who is conservative and can raise money."

In a St. Louis talk radio interview on Tuesday, Cruz said that Republicans shouldn't adhere to what "the New York Times and other leftist rags" say when throwing their support behind a nominee. The jab at the Times came after an article questioning Cruz's electability. The blog post, titled "Why Ted Cruz Is Such a Long Shot," considered his lack of support from the party establishment as a major hindrance in a general election.

Cruz aims to raise $40 million in his first year campaigning -- a number that megadonor-backed candidates like Jeb Bush will likely exceed by in their own fundraising efforts.

Cruz expects to remain competitive with contributions from his base of grassroots supporters.

His campaign engaged in a last-minute fundraising email push before the end of March, calling for "emergency" donations ahead of the first quarter filing deadline. About 95 percent of the resulting $4 million haul came from donations of $100 or less, according to the presidential hopeful's campaign. The average donation amounted to approximately $83.