By Justin Sink - 09/24/11 03:16 PM EDT
White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said Friday that he sees both Republican frontrunners as "tremendously flawed" and believes a new top-tier candidate may emerge in the Republican field.
"Of the two front runners that are running, Gov. Perry and Gov. Romney, both of them are tremendously flawed candidates," Pfeiffer said during an online interview with NBC's Meet the Press."They are both folks who have adopted positions that are antithetical to what most middle class, what most Americans in the middle believe."
Pfeiffer said that the Obama campaign viewed both candidates' flirtations with Tea Party conservatives as a handicap to their general election chances.
"Gov. Perry is, you know, someone who has led the Tea Party. Governor Romney is someone who is being led by the Tea Party. And so, we don’t know who the person is, but we know that whoever they are they’re going to have a set of views that, that will be very, they’ll be the wrong views for America and I think people will reject those pretty handily," Pfiffer said.
But Pfeiffer believes that the campaign will still have "a million turns," and that another candidate might arise from the Republican field, much as then-Sen. Obama did.
"In 2007, no one would have said Barack Obama. He’s not the person that Republicans would have most feared … John Edwards was actually seen as the most electable Democrat at that time," Pfeiffer said.
Even if the campaign likes its' chances against the presumptive Republican frontrunners, Pfeiffer acknowledged that it has much work to do in calming voters' concerns about the economy - and rallying a base that has become somewhat disenchanted with the president.
"We’re going to have - it’s going to be a long conversation with our supporters. There are, there are some people who wanted change faster, there’s no question about that," he said.
Pfeiffer acknowledged that the president had done a poor job painting a narrative for the American people of how Obama was helping with the economy.
"We probably didn’t tell our story as well as we could," Pfeiffer said. "The one thing we probably didn’t do as good of a job of, and I take as much responsibility as anyone, is connecting that to a larger story about America and what it means for the middle class and what this President stands for."
Pfeiffer said that the campaign would "remind" supporters that the project of bringing change to Washington is "not something that we're going to finish in the first four years."
Pfeiffer said, "We have things we have to get done, and so we’re going to keep, we’re going to keep working on it and reminding people what that is and when we get into the campaign, it’s going to be a choice about whether we’re going to keep going forward."
He also rejected advice from former Clinton campaign manager James Carville, who said that president should "panic" and shake up the White House staff.
"We’re doing quite well for a president who’s been dealing with a very tough economy for two and a half years now," Pfeiffer said.