WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod mocked Mitt Romney's characterization of himself as an "economic heavyweight" on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
"I do watch him parading around the state calling himself an economic heavyweight," said Axelrod, referring to a new line in Romney's stump speech in advance of Tuesday's Illinois primary. Romney has compared himself favorably to rivals Rick Santorum and Obama, referring to the other two as "economic lightweights."
"It's the same pitch that he made in 2002 to the people of Massachusetts and what happened? Massachusetts went from 10th in the nation in job creation to 47th. Their debt went up 16.5 percent; government jobs grew at six times the rate of private sector jobs. If that makes you -- if he thinks he's an economic heavyweight, he must be looking in a fun house mirror," Axelrod said.
Romney has outspent Santorum in Illinois 7 to 1; yet he is only marginally ahead in polls, Axelrod added.
"We thought we'd have a nominee by now," he said. "He hasn't been able to make the sale to his own party."