Huffpost Politics

David Axelrod: Obama 2012 Campaign Will Be 'Titanic Struggle'

Posted: Updated:

MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Barack Obama's chief political adviser on Tuesday conceded that a dark cloud looms over the American economy and Obama's political future, describing the president's road to a second term in the White House as "a titanic struggle."

"We have the wind in our face because the American people have the wind in their faces," David Axelrod told an audience of New Hampshire politicians and business leaders. "So this is going to be a titanic struggle. But I firmly believe we're on the right side of the struggle."

But even as he acknowledged the stark political reality, Axelrod said the president would ultimately win re-election, in part because of the flawed field of Republican candidates. He characterized their plans to repair the nation's ailing economy as the same kind of deregulation and tax cuts that caused the downturn in the first place.

"This isn't new wine and old bottles. This is old wine and old bottles," Axelrod said.

He also assailed Republican contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in an interview with The Associated Press.

Axelrod took issue with Romney's assertion that he's among the candidates with the least political experience in the Republican field. Romney held just one full term as governor but has run for higher office four times since 1994.

"I don't know how you define a professional politician, but running for office off and on for two decades seems to qualify," Axelrod said.

He also went after Perry.

"He holds up Texas as a model," Axelrod said. "You look at Texas and they have among the lowest wages in the country, the highest rate of uninsured people, some of the worst performance in their schools."

"I think most Americans will look at that and say, `Why would we want to emulate that?" Axelrod added.

Obama's campaign has said that the 2012 election will be a "choice, not a referendum" on Obama, making clear they intend to draw sharp contrasts with whomever Republicans nominate next year. Democrats have begun raising questions about Romney and Perry's records both in and out of government, hoping to make the case that Obama would be best positioned to restore a middle class that has been battered by the economic downturn.

Around the Web

Will Young Voters Sink Obama In 2012?

Obama agenda: SCOTUS and 2012

At Linkedin, Obama Encourages Jobless; Rehearses 2012 Campaign Lines

Dispute over Obama's background moving well into 2012 campaign

Obama 2012: At fundraisers, president blasts Rick Perry, Republican field.

Obama tells Hollywood 2012 campaign not "as sexy" as 2008. Transcript

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote