Dickerson: Some hand-wringing going on among Democrats


(CBS News) Some Democrats are unhappy with President Obama's campaign strategy and say he needs to do a better job making his case for re-election against rival Mitt Romney, CBS News Political Director John Dickerson said Thursday.

"The argument is that the Obama campaign doesn't understand where the country is and their sense of economic despair and that the president's message is just not reaching people," Dickerson said on "CBS This Morning."

Dickerson said it is not unusual for Democrats to be complaining about their candidate.

"There is some hand-wringing going on in some Democratic circles. That is kind of to be expected, that is something Democrats do a lot of, that they are wringing their hands when they are not applauding," he said.

Host Charlie Rose asked Dickerson if Mr. Obama has a "bigger problem" than messaging "if the president doesn't understand where the country is."

"It is a big problem, but the question is whether a president, whether an incumbent in a weak economy can message his way around the fact that basically the unemployment rate is high, that people have a sense of despair, even if they have a job, that they have a worry about their future," he said.

"And that may be a factor or a set of factors too big to get around with clever messaging," he added.

Asked about Mr. Obama's comment last week that the "private sector is doing fine," Dickerson said the gaffe "gets traction in part because the president's approval rating on the economy, his approval ratings are bad."

"This is a way for the Romney campaign to kind of keep leaning on that key point, that the president's stewardship of the economy is wrong. And that here he is, even this late in the game, he doesn't recognize the private sector is still hurting, the Obama folks would say of course he knows it's hurting. He was making a point though about the private sector health versus the public sector health," Dickerson said.