Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - In a blunt admission Tuesday, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod acknowledged the president's re-election bid would be a "titanic struggle" in the face of the slumping economy and unpopular partisan gridlock in Washington.
"We had the wind at our back in 2008," he said. "We don't have the wind at our backs in this election. We have the wind in our face because the American people have the wind in their faces."
Axelrod told a New Hampshire audience the president was "on the right side of the struggle" and would ultimately triumph over his GOP competitors in 2012.
"It's not going to be enough to simply point fingers of blame and try to lay on him responsibility for all of America's ills without offering credible prescriptions for how we solve them," he said of the Republican slate on presidential hopefuls.
The top Obama strategist spoke Tuesday at a hallowed New Hampshire political stop, Politics and Eggs, which is hosted at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
In comments to the press after his speech, Axelrod said the president would meet his fundraising goals this quarter, but he continued to lower expectations of a big number.
"I think we're going to have a healthy quarter and we're going to hit our targets. But you know, it's hard," Axelrod said, citing the economic slump as a challenge in courting donors. "Raising money is hard right now."
He added the campaign had been forced to cancel several fundraising events this summer while the president spent time in Washington negotiating with Congress on a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
Axelrod did say that despite some expectations to the contrary the fundraising report would show the campaign has continued to bring in the small, individual donations that helped propel President Obama to success in 2008.
He is not the first Obama campaign official to tamp down expectations of a large haul this quarter, which ends Sept. 30. CNN's Jessica Yellin reported Obama campaign manager Jim Messina has told supporters his goal for this quarter is to raise $55 million for the Obama campaign, Victory Fund and the Democratic Party combined. Last quarter the campaign raised $86 million.