4:23 pm Aug. 31, 2012
On a "state of the race" conference call with reporters this afternoon, David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter said, essentially, that they liked President Obama's chances after the Republican convention.
"We feel pretty good about where we are coming out of their convention," Axelrod said. "Governor Romney had two events this summer that his campaign said were going to be defining for him. One was his trip to the Olympics and his foreign swing; I think it's fair to say that was not an unalloyed success. And this convention, which I think will produce very little for them in terms of long term gain."
The Republican gathering in Tampa was essentially the soft-focus reintroduction of Mitt Romney that Republicans had promised it would be, with only a couple of distractions, like Clint Eastwood's "classic improv sketch" last night.
The speeches went over well enough, and the party's leaders—also as promised—fully embraced Paul Ryan's controversial plans for entitlement reform, and welcomed a debate on the issue.
Axelrod welcomed right back.
"If they want to debate Medicare, we're happy to have that debate," he said today. "They have no basis for trust on that issue."
Axelrod said he had been asked earlier in the day how much the Democratic convention would focus on George W. Bush, and the problems that Obama inherited from his predecessor.
"We're going to refer to President Bush about as much as the Republicans referred to President Bush in their convention, which is to say not at all," he said. "But we are going to take issue with the policies that were in place in the last decade, because this where they want to go back to, these are the policies they want to embrace once again."
Cutter said the Democratic convention would be an "affirmative" case for President Obama, and that "really there's no impact" on the party's plans, based on what they had seen from Republicans in Tampa.
"Whether it's the attack on 'you didn't build it,' or trying to turn the tables on Medicare, I think the American people are smarter than that," she said, adding, "We're going to stick to our plan."
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