Plouffe: Race for White House Will Be ‘Exceedingly Tough’

Sunday, 30 Sep 2012 11:33 AM

By Amy Woods

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David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s senior campaign adviser, admitted that rival Mitt Romney has “prepared more than any candidate in history” for Wednesday night’s debut debate.

Plouffe, appearing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” also said the Romney campaign expects to wake up Thursday morning “with a race fundamentally changed” in what may be an attempt by the Obama campaign to raise expectations for the Republican challenger.

“We’re not going to win battleground states by 10, 12 points,” he said, adding that everyone on the Obama team believes the election is going to be “exceedingly tough” and predicting “this race is going to tighten.”

Plouffe engineered Obama’s historic win in 2008, with 53 percent of the vote.

On the topic of the murders of U.S. diplomats in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11, Plouffe defended the administration’s responses in the days following the terrorist attack.

“I think that in the days afterwards, it wasn’t clear this was a terrorist attack,” he said in regard to comments by a U.S leader hedging the assumption.

He described as “preposterous” and “offensive” claims the White House spun that tragedy to make the president look good in light of Obama’s statements that al-Qaida had been defeated.

“This president’s record on terrorism takes a back seat to no one,” Plouffe said. “This president has led.”

He said the claim, verbalized by Romney, is a “half-baked statement” that calls into question his understanding of foreign policy.

“Presidential campaigns are a window, and I think it raises — just as the 47-percent comment did — questions in the shadow of the election,” Plouffe said. “Can I trust this person to be our commander-in-chief and our president?”

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