Messina, Axelrod set Obama spin machine to max as Election Day nears

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama’s aides are spinning like whirling dervishes, eager to knock down any data showing that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is gaining ground in critical swing states.

In North Carolina where the polls favor Romney and Obama has not allocated any time to headline a get-out-the-vote rally, “we really believe that North Carolina is within our reach,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, told reporters during a morning conference call.

Although Republicans say they’re increasingly confident about wining North Carolina, “I’m calling their bluff,” Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, declared. “We have an amazing ground game” there, he said.

However, he declined to say if the president would visit the state again before the Nov. 6 election. “We are taking schedules day by day, because of the storm,” he told reporters.

In Ohio, Obama has ”led in 14 [polls], tied in 2,” said Messina, who did not mention the Oct. 29 poll by Rasmussen that showed Romney ahead by two points.

Romney is “bluffing about momentum he doesn’t have,” Messina claimed.

Factoring in the Rasmussen poll — the most recent one published — Obama’s Ohio lead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls is now only 1.9 percent..

Messina also cited Romney’s new TV ad in Ohio, which says the new Italian owners of Chrysler may move the production of Jeep vehicles to China. The ad “reeks of desperation … the fact that Romney decided to run this ad tell us a lot about him,” he added.

Axelrod and Messina also denied that their campaign is losing steam in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, despite a decision to send Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton into those blue states.

Romney and his allies are increasing their advertising in the two states “to pretend they have some momentum there,” said Messina.

“We’re not going to take anything for granted … [so] we’re going to go up as well” with new ads, said Axelrod.

In Wisconsin, where Obama and Romney are level at 49 percent each according to an Oct. 25 Rasmussen poll, “we continue to feel very confident… what I see on the ground is very encouraging,” Messina said.

When asked if the president will visit Wisconsin, Messina replied that “we’re still trying to figure out he president’s schedule,” but added the claim that “Governor Romney is on the defense there on a host of issues.”

“The facts and numbers clearly show the president will win this election,” Messina boasted.

Despite Romney’s “faux bullishness,” Axelrod insisted, “we’re winning this race … based on cold, hard data, based on who has voted so far and on state-by-state polling”

“You’re going to get spun and spun in the next week,” he added.

“In just eight days, we’ll know who was bluffing and who was not.”

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