President Obama tonight hinted that his re-election campaign will transition to a more positive and forward-looking message by the end of next month and into the fall.
Obama told a group of high-dollar donors at a New York City fundraiser that he intends to spend "a lot of time talking about the specific agenda that I intend to pursue in the second term."
Obama has faced criticism from some members of his party and key constituencies for not laying out clearly enough what his priorities will be if he's re-elected. He has also taken heat for running a predominantly negative, anti-Romney TV ad campaign in battleground states.
"This phase of the campaign I think you're seeing a lot of negative ads and a lot of contrast ads, although when people start saying how terrible it is I just have to remind them to take a look at what Jefferson and Adams had to say about each other, and democracy has always been pretty rough and pretty messy," Obama said.
"There is going to be, though, as the summer winds down and we get into the fall, the need for voters in these swing states to know not just what they're voting against but also what they're voting for," he said. "And so we'll be spending a lot of time talking about the specific agenda that I intend to pursue in the second term, which I think will make sure that this economy is going full guns.
"So the upshot is if the election were held today, I think it would be close, but I think we'd win. And we now have 99 days left. If I can say that every single day for the next 99 days, then we will be able to embark on the next phase of this journey."
Obama spoke before 60 supporters who paid $40,000 apiece to mingle with the president inside the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan. The event was expected to raise more than $2.4 million for the 2012 campaign, according to figures provided by the Obama campaign.