Romney adviser: Romney is an "economic savior"

Mitt Romney, right, and wife Ann wave at an election night rally in Manchester, N.H., on April 24, 2012.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Mitt Romney, right, and wife Ann wave at an election night rally
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

(CBS News) Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to Mitt Romney, said voters are most concerned about the economy, and he believes voters may see the presumptive GOP nominee as an "economic savior."

Fehrnstrom also predicts younger voters will support Mitt Romney because of his economic policies.

"I think they are going to see Mitt Romney as an economic savior of sorts," Fehrnstrom said in an interview with Hotsheet. "They are going to vote their interest, and there's no greater interest of a recent college graduate than getting employed and being employed in your chosen profession."

That was the second time Saturday morning Fehrnstrom referred to Romney as an economic savior. The first was during an event hosted by The Washington Post where Fehrnstrom told the gathering that Romney's economic credentials are the reason he came back to win the Florida primary after a loss to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina.

"I think Floridians, what they saw in Mitt Romney was an economic savior," Ferhnstrom said, adding that Romney is "someone who had the experience, the qualifications and the resume to become the next president and lead us out of our economic" problems.

However, Fehrnstrom acknowledged that if the economy improves, Romney's chances of winning the election become slimmer.

"If the economy improves, the president's election prospects improve," Fehrnstrom said. "We would continue to make the argument that his policies made the problems go on longer than it needed to."

On obtaining the youth vote, Romney senior adviser Peter Flaherty said at the same event that Romney can appeal to young voters, dismissing the president's "cool" factor. He pointed to President Obama's "graduating class" as prime examples. The 2008 college Freshman were first-time voters enthusiastic about President Obama and optimistic about their future. Flaherty says they are now facing graduation and dim job prospects.

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"The fact that one out of two (college graduates) are going to be unemployed or underemployed, that's a devastating statistic. So when people see there's a record there and that President Obama has to defend that record.... Facts are stubborn things. People will see there's a clear choice between President Obama and his failed policies," Flaherty said.

President Obama won voters by more than 30 points in 2008, and recent polls show he is winning the support of voters aged 18 - 29, but the Romney camp is not giving up on the youth vote.

"This election is not about who's cooler, it's going to be about who do you trust to run the economy," Falherty said.

Fehrnstrom added: "Jobs. That's what people want. That's what they're desperate for."

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.