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Obama team touts strength of voter-turnout efforts

September 04, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • President Obama takes the stage at a campaign event at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va.
President Obama takes the stage at a campaign event at Norfolk State University… (Pablo Martinez Monsivais…)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Obama’s campaign team said Tuesday that its on-the-ground efforts to turn out voters are much greater than rival Mitt Romney’s — and will make their own renowned ground game of four years ago seem prehistoric — a tactical advantage that could add a point or two at the ballot box in key swing states on election day.

"We’re going to make 2008 on the ground look like 'Jurassic Park,' " said campaign manager Jim Messina, at a panel hosted by ABC News and Yahoo. “They just don’t have what we have.”

The panel took place on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention. Obama’s advisors declined to preview the president’s speech here later this week, but said he would not repeat the mistake Romney made in not mentioning the war in Afghanistan.

PHOTOS: The protests of the DNC

“I don’t want to predict how much the president will do of anything on Thursday night but I think it’s safe to say you’ll hear him talk about Afghanistan,” said deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter. “I think it was a major blunder on Mitt Romney’s part not to acknowledge we have men and women fighting on behalf of this country over in Afghanistan.”

Obama is scheduled to speak in an outdoor stadium. Though rain is forecast for the rest of the week, Obama officials said the event would be held outdoors unless the weather threatens attendees’ safety.

“We’re going to have the convention out there rain or shine unless we’re putting people at risk,” Messina said.

PHOTOS: Scenes from the DNC

Obama will  not get a bounce in voter opinion polls coming out of the convention because the race is so close, they said, but they said they were confident he would win in November.

“We understand this is going to be a close election but we’re confident in the choice and we’re confident when people understand that choice that we’re going to win this election,” Messina said.

Cutter added, “Confident.”

“Ditto,” concluded Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.

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seema.mehta@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATSeema

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