Priebus: Obama has 'no chance' in 2012 if economy is top issue

President Obama has "no chance" of beating the GOP's eventual presidential nominee if the economy is the No. 1 issue, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday.

"If the economy is the issue, which I do believe it will be, there's no chance this president gets reelected," Priebus said in a sit-down interview with The Hill at his RNC office.

And, at this point, the economy is just that: the No. 1 issue.

In an AP/GfK poll released Wednesday, 90 percent of Americans said the economy is an "extremely" or "very" important issue. A CBS/New York Times poll released last week found the public's approval of Obama's handling of the economy hit an all-time low.

"Obviously, this president is tone-deaf when it comes to the debt, the deficit and jobs and the economy," Priebus said. "He certainly loves speeches, but he apparently doesn't like following through on much of anything when it comes to our economy."

The new RNC chairman, on the job for just a few months, has worked to rebuild the party infrastructure and fundraising apparatus in order to support Republican candidates, particularly the eventual presidential nominee, in 2012. Priebus noted that, between Obama's campaign organization and the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) projected $1 billion fundraising goal, the RNC faces a tall order even to match half that total.

But Priebus has been restrained in assessing the crop of Republican candidates who might emerge to take on Obama. He said he expects more candidates to enter the race, but Priebus refused to speculate on whom, saying only he expected Republican voters to be "very satisfied" with their options in a candidate.

He also declined to highlight any candidates' weaknesses.

"I don't think there's anyone that's perfect in the world," he said. "So I'll give you that."

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