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In Mark Halperin’s and John Heilemann’s new book Double Down, they write that Obama’s aides tested the effects of such a change in the administration by polling people and running focus groups.

The New York Times first wrote about the revelations Thursday evening after obtaining an advanced copy of the book, which will be released next week. 

David Axelrod, who served as Obama’s senior strategist during the 2012 race, said a “swap” was never in play. He also worked as an adviser to his 2008 campaign, and served as a senior adviser to Obama from Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2011.

David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and former White House senior adviser, also firmly denied the report on Twitter.

Plouffe now works as an analyst for Bloomberg News. He was one of Obama’s senior advisers from Jan. 2011 to Jan. 2013.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president “never thought” about the switch.

On Friday morning, however, Bill Daley—who served as Obama’s chief of staff at the time—admitted on “CBS This Morning” that he did assess such a change, and defended it.