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Begala: Obama's given up on NC, Romney 'likely to carry' the battleground

Former Clinton strategist Paul Begala, an adviser to the super-PAC aiding President Obama's reelection efforts, said Monday that it appeared that the president had given up on North Carolina.

Begala was asked whether the president had essentially conceded the state to GOP challenger Mitt Romney, and responded flatly with a "yes" during an appearance Monday on CNN.

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"I'm not supposed to say that," Begala continued, after a beat. "I'm working for the pro-Obama super-PAC, so I'm being paid to help re-elect the president, but if you look at where he's spending money, it looks like Gov. Romney is likely to carry North Carolina."

Begala goes on to say that he does expect the president to remain competitive in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, Florida and Virginia — the six states the president is visiting in a post-campaign blitz later this week.

"Those other six or seven states, I think all of them — I haven't seen one poll that show Romney leading, certainly not outside the margin of error," Begala said.

Last week, Obama traveling press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the campaign was "absolutely not" giving up efforts in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, three battleground states where the president has slipped behind Romney.

The Obama campaign spokeswoman said the president's ground game in North Carolina was among its best nationwide, and that the campaign expected supporters in crucial swing states to be energized by Obama's performance in last week's debate.

And Monday night, in an apparent response to Begala, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina tweeted that the campaign was not giving up on the Tarheel State.