David Axelrod: 2012 will be "titanic struggle"

In this photo released by CBS, Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod talks to reporters after his appearance on the CBS talk show "Face the Nation" Sunday, April 19, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/CBS, Karin Cooper) ** NO SALES. NO ARCHIVE. MANDATORY CREDIT: FACE THE NATION **
David Axelrod

President Obama's re-election team is acknowledging the 2012 election will be a "titanic struggle" for the president, but they're casting Mr. Obama's Republican opponents as too pessimistic to win voter support or lead the country.

"We have the wind in our face because the American people have the wind in their faces," Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod told New Hampshire politicians and business leaders on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. "So this is going to be a titanic struggle. But I firmly believe we're on the right side of the struggle."

Axelrod said Mr. Obama will win in part because the GOP candidates are pushing the same policies that led to the recession. "This isn't new wine and old bottles. This is old wine and old bottles," he said.

Axelrod told the AP, for instance, that Texas Gov. Rick Perry shouldn't hold up his state's record on job creation as a model for the country, since Texas has some of the lowest wages in the country and some of the worst school performance records.

"I think most Americans will look at that and say, 'Why would we want to emulate that?'" he said.

Mr. Obama himself has cast the 2012 race as a difference of vision and values. He continued on that theme at a series of fundraisers Monday night in California.

"There is one vision that says we will pull back and abandon our commitment to the aged and the vulnerable. A vision where we're destined to have a smaller vision of what we can do together," Mr. Obama said at a fundraiser in the home of Elizabeth and Mason Phelps in La Jolla, Calif. "The other is a big, ambitious, bold, optimistic of America where we are investing in the future, in our people, where we make the tough decisions to be competitive in the 21st century."

He continued, "I'm absolutely confident we're going to win. The vision we're putting forward is the one America ultimately believes in."