Axelrod: ‘Not concerned’ about Obama’s next debate

"I'm not concerned about the next debate," Axelrod told CNN. "I know the president very well and know how determined he is going into that debate."

Axelrod went on to address a question of whether the president's concession Wednesday that he was "too polite" was evidence the campaign was worried about perceptions he could seem aloof or was failing to connect with the American people.

"If you look at the polling, there's no doubt that traditionally, the challenger brings up one to three points after a debate. Gov. Romney has collected somewhere in the middle of that," Axelrod said. "[But] who is going to fight for you, who understands your problems or stand up for the middle class, the president has very large margins on those questions. So the notion that he's not connecting with people, that they don't understand that he's an advocate for them … that's not true at all."

Axelrod went on to say that the president had been caught off guard by Romney's attempts to "fuzzy up" the "clear distinctions" between the competing candidates.

"Part of what took him aback a little was the degree to which Gov. Romney tried to fudge his positions, walk away and obscure the positions that he's taken."

Axelrod added that he believes Vice President Biden is "very much looking forward to the debate tonight," while President Obama is "highly motivated and looking forward to the conversation Tuesday."