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Obama aides rip GOP convention as they head to Charlotte, N.C.

September 02, 2012|By Katherine Skiba
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivers his nomination acceptance speech during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last week.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivers his nomination… (Spencer Platt / Getty Images )

WASHINGTON — President Obama's top campaign strategist predicted a good week for Democrats as they gather for their national convention in Charlotte, N.C., and he slammed last week's Republican convention as a “terrible failure” for offering no real ideas to lift the country’s middle class.

David Axelrod, appearing on “Fox News Sunday," said Obama can rely on a united party behind him, unlike the GOP nominee, Mitt Romney.  

“We don’t have the problems that the other party has,” Axelrod said. “We’re not divided. We don’t have to worry about what people are saying on the side about their affection for the president. We don’t have those problems."

Axelrod called the Republican convention in Tampa that ended Thursday “the reinvention convention” that sought to boost Romney's appeal to women and independent voters. 

Host Chris Wallace pointed to a series of grim, then-and-now statistics comparing the start of the Obama administration with the present: unemployment grew from 7.8% to 8.3%; median income fell from about $55,000 to about $51,000; and gas prices rose.

PHOTOS: The protests of the GOP convention

Axelrod said the average American recognizes that it took years to create the myriad problems that led to the Great Recession, which economists say began in December 2007 under the George W. Bush administration, and that it would take years to solve them. 

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, also appearing on the program, took shots at the Republican party's platform.

 “It looks like it’s from another century. Maybe two. It looks like the platform of 1812,” said Villaraigosa, chairman of the Democratic National Convention.

Both Axelrod and Villaraigosa predicted a close election that Obama would win. Villaraigosa, to a question, said Obama would capture between 67% and 70% of the Hispanic vote.

The convention begins Tuesday. Obama is scheduled to accept the party’s nomination for reelection on Thursday night.

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kskiba@tribune.com

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