Gibbs says Obama is 'comfortable being the underdog' in 2012

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Robert Gibbs on Thursday cast President Obama as the "underdog" in the 2012 presidential race, reviving a description Obama first mentioned last year. 

"The president is quite comfortable being the underdog," Gibbs said on CBS's "This Morning."

Gibbs, the former White House press secretary and now strategist for the Obama campaign, said Obama is "happy to run this race as if he were behind the whole time."

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Gibbs's remarks were not specific. One area where Obama's campaign has sought to lower expectations is in its fundraising, denying early speculation that the campaign could raise a billion dollars. Recently the campaign said it was under-performing in raising money, in comparison to the millions that Republican candidates are already raising and spending in the ongoing GOP primary. 

Gibbs claimed that the Republican presidential candidates are failing to inspire enthusiasm in GOP voters.

"They're not electrifying anybody, they're not getting anybody excited," he noted.

Many conservatives have found the current field wanting in comparison to the enthusiasm Obama attracted as a candidate during the 2008 election, but others raise questions about Obama's ability to do so again as an incumbent president. 

Recently, polls have suggested that voters blame Obama for rising gas prices, although Gibbs touted the White House's response in saying the president does not set the price of a commodity traded on the global market and can do very little on a day-to-day basis to affect the price.

But Obama has previously acknowledged that voters, who are still facing economic problems, will blame him.

“Nobody's going to deny we’re not where we need to be,” Obama said last October. “I don't mind ... I'm used to being the underdog.”