(CNN) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who previously served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff, said he believes the president's campaign "is set" in Pennsylvania - but he cautioned it's better to be safe than sorry.
"I think Pennsylvania is secure, but you don't take anything for granted," Emanuel said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "There are going to be a lot of people going back to Ohio in the (final) 96 hours, multiple times. They'll go to Pennsylvania."
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With some polls showing the race tightening in the Keystone State, Mitt Romney's campaign has recently sought to put Pennsylvania in play, making major ad buys in the Democratic-leaning state and sending the candidate, as well as running mate Paul Ryan, this weekend to court the state's 20 electoral votes.
While Obama's campaign described the new strategy as an "act of desperation," it said it's not ceding any ground and made big ad buys to counter Republican efforts in the state. It also sent Jill Biden, the wife of the vice president, to the state on Saturday and will deploy former President Bill Clinton there on Monday, one day before the election.
"That doesn't mean that it's slipping," Emanuel told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "It just means that's the natural tiding of a race. But the president's in a strong position because of the policies."
Obama carried Pennsylvania in 2008, beating Sen. John McCain by 10 percentage points. A Franklin and Marshall College poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a narrower margin over Romney in the state, 49%-45%.
Emanuel also responded to recent criticism of the Obama administration over the Benghazi, Libya, consulate attacks - an issue which Republicans have highlighted on the campaign trail. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani especially went on the offensive Friday night, accusing the White House of "incompetence."
"You know that what happened in Libya is the result, at least, of incompetence. You think if we had elected John McCain president of the United States, those people wouldn't have had the full resources of the United States of America there in Benghazi trying to save them?" Giuliani said Friday night at a major rally for Romney and Ryan in Ohio.
Emanuel, however, said it was inappropriate to "politicize" the issue and argued the president is a "man of his word" with the right leadership.
"Get the investigation done, let the chips fall where they may, find who's accountable, bring them to justice. And a mistake, if it was made in any other agency, then you fix it. And that's what leadership is," Emanuel said.
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