Gibbs: Obama doesn't expect 2008 level of enthusiasm in 2012

President Obama's senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs on Sunday denied that voters are disappointed in Obama, but acknowledged that the enthusiasm of supporters in 2008 would be hard to copy this year.

"I don't think that there is voter disappointment," Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union." "The voters understand that we have been through a traumatic economic experience in the country, unlike anything that we have ever seen."

Gibbs said that no one in the campaign expects the level of enthusiasm Obama generated in the historic 2008 election.

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"Nobody is sitting up here saying this is 2008," he said.

Campaign aides have said repeatedly they expect the election to be "close," and Gibbs added that even in 2008, Obama did not sweep the vote.

"This election was always going to be close, because we live in a closely divided country I remind people all of the time that just four years ago everyone was talking about the president's landslide, and he got 53 percent of the vote," he said. 


"Let's understand that we live in a very closely divided electorate, and we have for quite some time

and this election was quite frankly always going to be close, but it is an important fundamental choice about where we go from here," said Gibbs.

Gibbs said voters understood that Obama was facing a unique set of economic challenges handed to him by his predecessors.

"What has happened since the election in 2008 and right now, again, is this huge economic calamity caused by a series of bad decisions that were made before the president ever got there," he said. 

Republicans, though, have been critical of the Obama campaign for blaming former President George W. Bush for the still weak economy this far into Obama's first term, with Bush's brother Jeb Bush even lashing out during his speech to the Republican National Convention last week.

“Mr. President, it’s time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies,” former Florida Gov. Bush said. “You were dealt a tough hand but your policies have not worked. In the fourth year of your presidency a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions and you haven’t done it.”

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod told MSNBC on Friday "the reason the Bush administration comes up is because the proposals that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are proposing are so derivative."