Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Hours ahead of the Republican debate in New Hampshire, Democrats took aim at the candidates' chief line of attack: the state of the economy.
At an event minutes from the CNN debate site at St. Anselm College, Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley conceded the sluggish jobs outlook remains a problem area under President Obama, but slammed the economic track record and policies of the GOP field, including Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty.
Buckley downplayed the threat posed by any member of the Republican field taking the stage Monday night. "At this point they're kind of like these bugs flying around us," he said, swatting at mosquitoes. "They're irritating, but not dangerous."
Despite the lack of primary action, Democrats have set up ambitious grassroots efforts in several key early-voting states – a pre-emptive pushback to the expected swarm of candidate attacks directed at President Obama in the months ahead.