CHICAGO (CBS) — President Barack Obama is facing a serious struggle for re-election, according to his own political guru.

But as WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Obama ally Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says the race is winnable.

President Obama’s chief political adviser David Axelrod used the term, “a titanic struggle,” to describe the President’s re-election challenge.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

But Durbin says he believes Obama can win, even given continuing economic problems.

“Yes, he can,” Durbin said.

Durbin presents the 2012 race as a choice ahead between two people – one yet unnamed – and two economic policies.

“And if the Republican leaders in Congress like Senator McConnell and others are basically saying, instead of designing a program to save the economy, we want to design the bumper stickers for the next presidential election, then I’m afraid we’re going to have very little done through Congress to help the president,” Durbin said.

Axelrod shared his stark assessment of the next election with crowd of politicians and business leaders at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire Tuesday morning. Despite the challenge, he jabbed the field of Republicans jockeying for the chance to face Obama in 2012.
Axelrod notes that not one of the candidates defended a gay soldier when he was booed during the last presidential debate. He also says the Republicans have clung closely to the Tea Party line.

Their plans to fix the economy, he says, are the same plans that led to the economic downturn.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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