President Obama said Sunday that he would make the same arguments about his handling of the U.S. economy as Republican Mitt Romney if he was challenging an incumbent president saddled with high unemployment.
In an interview with CBS News taped last week at the White House and aired on Sunday morning, Obama said that he would not complain about Romney's attacks on the economic state of the country during their campaign as both sides are intensifying their attacks.
"That is his argument and you don't hear me complaining about him making that argument, because if I was in his shoes I’d be making the same argument,” Obama said.
Obama, however, defended his handling of the economy, pointing to the problems he says he inherited from the George W. Bush administration. "I think it's important to know we did an awful lot in the first four years," he said.
He also defended his own reelection campaign from criticisms that it is too negative.
"Well, it's funny, you know," Obama said. "I just came back from a bus tour in Ohio. And we're now starting to get in the campaign swing. And I tell people, 'This campaign's still about hope.' If somebody asks me, it's still about change."
The Romney campaign released an ad Sunday featuring journalists criticizing the tenor of Obama's campaign, with one clip featuring the host of CBS's "Face the Nation," Bob Schieffer, asking the president’s senior adviser David Axelrod "whatever happened to hope and change?"
Obama said in his interview with CBS's Charlie Rose that he had "underestimated" how difficult it would be to change the atmosphere in Washington in the ways he promised in his 2008 campaign.
"One of the things you learn in this office is everything takes a little longer than you'd like," Obama said.
"I think there is no doubt that I underestimated the degree to which in this town politics trumps problem-solving," he added.