President Obama's top campaign strategist, David Axelrod, at the… (Brendan Smialowski / Chicago…)
President Obama faces a “titanic struggle” to win reelection, his top campaign strategist, David Axelrod, said Tuesday, given high unemployment and the poisonous partisan atmosphere in Washington.
"In 2008, we had the wind at our backs," Axelrod said, according to MSNBC. "Now, we don't have the wind at our back. We have the wind in our faces, because the American people have the wind in their faces."
Speaking at forum at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Axelrod had harsh words for Republicans, who, he said, had blocked the president from achieving major policy goals.
"We honestly thought when we got to Washington, we'd get some cooperation from folks across the aisle," Axelrod said. He added that the current crop of GOP presidential candidates constitute “the most ideological, partisan group of Republicans in my lifetime."
Still, Axelrod sounded optimistic about the president’s chances in 2012, according to Reuters, saying “We’re on the right side of the fight and I believe we’re going to win that fight.”
He added: "And the more I watch the Republicans, the more I believe that."
Axelrod, who left the White House earlier this year to focus on Obama's reelection campaign, said the Republican candidates seeking their party's nomination to face Obama next year are "clinging closely to the 'tea party' line" while Obama will remain focused on “the embattled middle class and the sense that in America if you work hard, you can get ahead."
New Hampshire is scheduled to hold its first-in-the-nation presidential primary in February.