Nightly News | September 06, 2010
KATE SNOW, anchor: I'm joined now by NBC 's David Gregory , moderator of " Meet The Press ." Good evening, David .
DAVID GREGORY reporting: Good evening.
SNOW: David , the president was in full campaign mode today. What does that tell us about the political landscape facing the Democrats this fall?
GREGORY: It's still very, very tough. And I think that's why you see the president both ramping up his campaigning personally and ramping up the rhetoric against Republicans . He's trying to frame the debate for the fall campaign. It's all about the economy, 9.6 percent unemployment, a housing crisis that continues to affect Americans across the country. And here you see the president really sharpening his knives, sharpening his message for Republicans saying, 'Things are tough, but these guys who are opposing me don't have any better ideas.'
SNOW: Is there a national Democratic strategy, though, or is it more race by race, district by district out there?
GREGORY: Well, it's really both. The president at the top of the ticket, if you will, even though he's not on the ballot, is trying to frame this as a choice election. The president knows if it's just about him, a referendum on his leadership, Democrats could be hurt around the country. He and fellow Democrats want to make it a choice to say things may be tough, you may be unhappy with how things are going in Washington , but Republicans don't have better ideas. That's the argument. You also see that being copied in certain districts around the country. Other districts you see Democrats localizing their races, trying to run away from the president and the Democratic leadership. This is what is consistently true. The terrain is difficult. The environment is very tough. Four years ago there were 50-plus seats that Democrats are now defending that were in Republican hands. These are tough districts for Democrats to now have to defend under these circumstances.
SNOW: And on the Republican side , how confident are Republicans that they could really win big this November, that they could take back perhaps the House or the Senate ?
GREGORY: Well, all the betting right now is on the House . That seems to be fertile ground for a takeover by Republicans , but publicly they remain cautious. They caution against irrational exuberance. They know Democrats have a lot of money to spend in a lot of these races. They know the tea party may be fielding candidates and make it more difficult for the Republican Party . But the strategy here is to stay the course on opposing the president on tax policy, on spending. You saw the reference to that by Mike Viqueira . Their feeling is, in this kind of political environment, opposition is the best way to go because Americans are simply so unhappy with the way Washington is being run.
SNOW: And the campaign begins.