Obama Strategist on 2012: 'A Very Close Election'

David Plouffe discusses the upcoming election and the State of the Union.
2:12 | 01/24/12

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Transcript for Obama Strategist on 2012: 'A Very Close Election'
Get the White House reaction to all this is the -- get set for State of the Union Address tonight. David Clough White House senior advisor top political strategist joins us now good morning David and I wanna Begin with those tax returns for Mitt Romney overnight -- -- the -- -- -- in his second. But it's 603 AM got this email from Democratic National Committee a blast email. Saying Mitt Romney's tax returns released raises more questions than it answers will -- that voters need to know about Mitt Romney's taxes and as well. What George they'll be 47 more Republican primaries and caucuses and those Republican voters -- have their say on this specifically. I do think it raises a general point about our tax system here. And one of the things the president can talk about the state of the union tonight he is something that Warren Buffett famously talked about that he should not pay less in taxes then secretary does. President as you know -- talked about from the called the buffer rule we're -- outline that specifically tonight what that would mean. So that we make sure everybody in this economy is doing their fair share which is an important part of our organization -- -- wrong that Mitt Romney only -- -- -- 15% of his income taxes. Well the point is we need to change our tax system. We need to make sure that middle class workers. Are not paying more in effective tax rate than people -- Macon 405000 million dollars a year. So we have rules of the road in place right now I'm sure Mitt Romney you know try to follow them the question is we just need change in our tax relief so that everybody's doing their fair share that's going to be important part of how we grow an economy that's working for the middle -- and more durable. We just saw those favorability numbers from John Berman -- October the president told me. That he sees himself as the underdog in this race after all these Republican debates the first three votes primaries and caucuses is usually underdog. Well listen Jordan. We're gonna be running next year in a tough economy. And so we're gonna have a very close election. That's just a fact that's not gonna change between now and November 1 of the things the president -- point out tonight's state of the -- -- it is election year. But the American people are gonna demand action right now and what he's gonna lay -- time is a very specific blueprint. For how we build an economy built to last. So that it is more durable. Hi this make or break for the month middle class we're doing things to insure more people get the middle class we've had three million jobs create over the last twenty months. We're digging out of a huge -- so there's a lot more work to do. But as we bring the unemployment rate down as we create jobs we also have to focus on what kind of America do we want. And we want an America that's built on things like American manufacturing American energy and the skills and education that our workers need to women can. -- but as you point -- the presently in a very tough environment less than half the country approves of the job the president is doing more than two thirds. Think America's moving in the wrong direction about one in five. Americans is unemployed or underemployed -- how does the president convince the country to stay the course. Well first of all before we get the -- and it would stay the course we got to convince. You know the American people -- businesses elected officials what's the right thing to do this year on the economy. There's things we can do in terms of -- for everybody's doing their fair share their hard work and responsibility rewarded that we're investing in the things we must to create jobs. Then what an election and listen I think if you look at what we do happen no weight but we -- we almost -- -- to a Great Depression. We have that an incredibly steep recession that caused all the job loss to caused a lot of pain to people. And that was an accident it just didn't happen. There was a reason for and the question for the American people or do they want to go back to those policies let Wall Street right its own rules. Have tax and Akamai economic policy geared almost exclusively to the super wealthy and not investing in things we need to or what the president's gonna lay out tonight. Which is a blueprint for an economy that's built to last so that we don't recover based on bubbles and financial instruments. But it's the things we know are going to be so important to the future and our middle class and we will be watching David -- thanks very much. Be sure to join -- -- -- for live coverage of the present sitting just from watching tonight at 9 eastern 6 Pacific right here on ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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