Axelrod acknowledges 'titanic struggle' for Obama bid
September 27th, 2011
12:24 PM ET
11 years ago

Axelrod acknowledges 'titanic struggle' for Obama bid

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.

Also see:

Perry moves to reassure Republicans in Iowa, South Carolina

Huntsman: 'We are going to focus singularly on New Hampshire'

Tea Party Nation founder endorses Gingrich

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    @Rick McDaniel:
    Name one lie that Mr. Axelrod has told in public.

    "If you can't tell the truth, then maybe no one should be listening to you, at all."

    September 27, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. j

    I blame the "NO" Congress, not Obama. He was handed a economy in the tank and the Repubs. have been adamant in keeping that way for their own personal gains. The people/country be damned.

    September 27, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Robert

    Maybe Obama would not be in such trouble if he showed something resembling a spine for once. All he has done as president is cave in to republican demands.

    September 27, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. condeleesa

    You might have the wind in your face, but your ship is still afloat, and is forging ahead! Now as for the Republican Party and the Republican Candidiates, they don't have a sailing ship, in fact they don't have ANY ship to board. The best they can do right now is to use a canoe and hope that Perry and Romney can each use an oar to move it forward!

    September 27, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Karen


    You need to wind your way back to W's first term as President, not to 2008. The misguided unpaid for war in Iraq and tax cuts depleted the surplus and eroded the USA's financial footing. It took 8 years to put the USA in this situation. Why would anyone think that in a matter of four years we would be able to dig ourselves out? Especially, with the Republican extremists in the House.
    psssst, Lind. In case you haven't noticed guess who isn't President any longer. And don't forget that the Democrats had total control during the last two years of Bush's administration. And many Democrats voted, including H. Clinton, to get us involved in the Iraq war and Obama got us yet involved in a third war. Oh, how I could go on, but people like you never remove their blinders and will never see the truth that it's both parties that have gotten us to where we are today.

    "Why would anyone think that in a matter of four years we would be able to dig ourselves out?" hmmmm, that's what Obama promised, he would dig us out. That's why people voted for him.

    September 27, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. LegendRx

    America is worth it's weight in dingle berries, who in their right minds would want to help these self righteous, self destructive, arrogant, delusional and pompous and at the ready, to blame everything they did for the last 10 years on the black guy, Who was doing just fine until 2010, That's when the house was taken over by the party of no. It's a good thing they can't touch him on foreign affairs where, free of their undoing hands, Obama was and is successful. This should tell you something about your republican party. Period.

    September 27, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Recovering Republican

    Which Titanic struggle is Axelrod talking about, winning a second term, or convincing birthers that he was born in America??? Obama's struggle is more compllicated than that. He is running a business, where half of his employees are rooting for and working hard for him to fail. Such is the behavior of his America loving, hard praying, members of Congress, who will tear America apart in order to be Right.

    September 27, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |

    GOP does not have a candidate. Obama will win easily.

    September 27, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Dean

    Maybe Solyndra can kick in a few bucks. People realize they were screwed, and enough will not back Obama for another term.

    September 27, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. larry

    Although we have plenty of them in america, only a fool would vote republican's back in office

    September 27, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    somebody wrote:
    Say what??? Isn't this EXACTLY how OBAMA got elected in 2008??? Remember? That old Hope and Changey thing followed by "Yes we can!"??? And then came the bogus socialist "solutions", covered with class warfare and a heaping side of non-stop business demonization.
    Since you have not noticed what "most Americans" have noticed, allow me to bring you up to date about what occured to the economy during the time frame you that you cite.

    GDP went from roughly -5.0% conraction to +3.0% growth.
    The DOW went from roughly 7000 to over 12,000.
    Monthly jobs went from a loss of -750,000 to a gain of +200,000 jobs per month. Nearly 1,000,000.

    Unemplyment was at 7.8%, hit a high of 10.2% as the Great Recession ended, and began a slow but steady decline. It had dropped to 8.8% until Republican spending cuts laid of tens and hundreds of thousands of public workers and reveresed all of the above trends. GDP is now flat. The markets can't decide wether to tank quickly or slowly. Jobs growth has stalled. All of this was accomplished within 6 months of the Tea Party coming to Washington DC. Vote America.

    September 27, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Ted van Tol

    Time for the dreamticket afterall. Obama/Clinton 2012.
    And please, vote the party of No out this time so Obama can take the actions so desperately needed in America.

    September 27, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Robert E. Lee

    This why the Democrats need to have others to step up and compete against Obama in the primaries. We need to hear some good debate with Liberal policies. Why can't Mrs. Clinton jump in or Gov. O'Malley (MD) throw their hat in the ring?
    Let's get out their & Grow a pair.
    Bring your best sales pitch. America is not buying it anymore.

    September 27, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Tina

    Unless Axelrod and Whitehouse clearly explain why they insest in giving SOLYNDRA a government funded when it was known to be an at risk company during Bush time and now it wasted 1/2 Billion of tax payers dollars. Then this Obama guy is doomed to fail for reelection. I am angry to find out this SOLYNDRA thing..

    September 27, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. B

    All you have to do is compare actual accomplishments so far by the Republicans and Obama and it is clear- even to most Americans- that the GOP has done absolutely nothing to help the President turn this around! They have already stated publicly that they're only intent is to destroy this Presidents goals.

    September 27, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Dennis

    I beleive Bush started the problems with the economy and Obama has compounded it. He simply has no idea how the economy works. And because of that, he should not be re-elected.

    September 27, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. mikle

    He going to loose big time. People has record of him and record looks ugly. Money not going to help Obame this time. He not talk about YES WE CAN, CHANGE<,,HOPE, and JOBS,. He fail and everybody now it.

    September 27, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. al in memphis

    Just tell the voters the truth and don't back down.. Enough voters will recognized that after 10 years of corporate America and Wall Street selling out this country, no president (even with all the support of congress) could turn around things in 2 years. Especially with most of the worlds other economies struggling to survive.
    Besides, it clear that the agenda of the Republicans is to get back in power. Not to represent the people, nor address the problems, just make Obama a one-term president.

    September 27, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Maggie

    Obama should not have been elected in 2008. He was totally inexperienced for the job but the democrats wanted to make history. Well, they have made history and americans are paying for it with high unemployment and so many foreclosures on homes. Obama is a disaster, so we will have to say so long, farewell, thanks but no thanks in 2012 and vote him out of office before it gets worse.

    September 27, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    @Just As I Thought:
    I'm no Democrat. I'm a moderate, not registered to either major party. It's just that your views are so far to the extreme right that you make the center/right appear liberal. Reagan would be a categorical failure in today's Republican Party. He raised taxes to "correct" for overzealous tax cuts, which twice caused recessions and inflated the national debt to record levels.

    The problem isn't spending by Democrats. It has been increased spending by Republicans and sharp revenue reductions through tax cuts during the Bush-43 years that have brought us to where we are today. Besides, the US economy will not jump start until the global economy recovers and regains some certainty. The markets have been reeling for weeks now, mainly over the European debt crisis.

    September 27, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    All I have to say is don't count this president out yet. An awful lot can happen before 2012. IF Obama is so easy to beat why is it the republicans CAN'T seem to find a front runner?
    With the circus being presented in the current republican line up (this week as it changes constantly) – I really don't think it will be too hard for rational thinking Americans to reelect our current president and give him another four years to clean up W's mess.

    September 27, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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