During a panel discussion on his Sunday talk show, Chris Matthews questioned whether — faced with lingering economic problems — President Obama was on a path towards defeat. “No matter who the Republicans choose ultimately, voters will have to decide whether to trust Barack Obama with four more years,” Matthews noted. “His low poll numbers and his people say that he must begin to tear down the opposition. So it stands to be a historically negative year… How negative is this going to get?”
“President Obama doesn’t seem to be focused on the journey so far, just don’t reverse,” Major Garrett surmised.
“How can you run on a campaign slogan of ‘This is as good as it gets’?” Matthews asked. “Is there a mood that this President is probably going to lose as events take their course? Is he headed towards defeat?”
“‘You think this is bad, this could be worse’ — that is not actually a positive optimistic, hopeful ‘Morning in America’ kind of message,” observed CNN political correspondent Gloria Borger. “So I think Barack Obama has his work cut out for him.”
“The question is, do they feel like that?” Matthews asked. “Do you have a sense that there is a feeling out there that the Obama people know they’re going to face a very uphill battle this year?”
“I think they’re worried,” said Washington Post columnist David Ignatius they have been worried. it’s Obama’s way to play defense. That’s just how he has conducted himself as President. This year is his last chance to define himself for the American people in a clear way as a leader so that people might join him. I know one thing, Obama is the only candidate in this race who can say to the American public, I killed Osama Bin Laden. I took down America’s biggest enemy. I made the country safer. That could be powerful.”
Watch Matthews’ panel debate whether President Obama can overcome political obstacles to win a second term below via NBC:
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