Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser chooses to remain practical when strategizing next year's re-election bid.
David Axelrod on Tuesday told CNN Anchor Erin Burnett that while he was very confident Obama would secure a two-term presidency in the 2012 election, he didn't expect the effort to be particularly easy.
"I'm not negative. I'm just realistic," Axelrod said in response to concerns the Obama re-election operation seemed pessimistic. He cited the economy as a pivotal issue Americans will follow to determine their choice for president.
Axelrod's sentiments echoed recent statements made by Vice President Joe Biden who said he agrees with Americans holding this administration, and not the last, accountable for the sluggish economy and job growth.
During his appearance on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," Axelrod threw jabs at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner in national polls. Axelrod said Romney's backpedaling from the healthcare legislation he instituted as governor is an indication of the candidate's wavering for political gain. The package received right-wing criticism for baring striking resemblance to Obama's healthcare reform bill.
"If he's the nominee, there'll be two people on that ballot, they'll each have records," Axelrod said, noting that while Americans will evaluate the economy under Obama's watch, they will also look to Romney's fiscal record.
Axelrod went on to analyze that record saying, "[Romney] talks about jobs, his state was 47th in job creation when he was governor of Massachusetts."
"He said he never raised taxes, it turns out that he raised fees in his state by $750 million a year," he continued, framing these points as issues that delegitimize Romney's plans of bringing America back from the red.
According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday, 37% of voters think Obama will win next year's presidential election.