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Obama: 'This is going to be a close race'

He told CBS that he “absolutely” could lose because of the economy. “I mean this is going to be a close race,” the president said. “And I'm running in in an environment where the economy isn't where it needs to be. I take nothing for granted. I'm going to be working my tail off, trying to present a clear choice to the American people. And the one thing I hope I'm able to communicate in this campaign is what my values are, what my plan is, but also that I'm not tired. That I am as eager every morning and as determined as I've ever been to work as hard as I can on behalf of the American people.”

On how Washington could change with Obama as president, Boehner as speaker, and Paul Ryan as budget chairman, Obama seemed to indicate that the election would be something of at least a marginal mandate. “My sense is that the message that will be sent by voters this time out -- if I'm reelected -- will be: ‘We're not satisfied with the pace of progress, but we do think that the ideas the president has presented are the right ones. And we'd like to see greater cooperation,’” Obama said. “I don't expect that I will get 100 percent cooperation. But 50 percent, 60 percent wouldn't be bad.”

And he indicated what he wants the framework of a deficit deal to be -- $2.5 in cuts for every dollar in taxes raised. He said he’s “more than happy to work with the Republicans. What I've said that in reducing our deficits, we can make sure we cut two-and-a-half dollars for every dollar increase in revenue.” Scott Pelley followed up and said, “That's the deal they turned down, Mr. President.” Obama responded: “That's part of what this election's about.”

In a very couched way, he also said that doing more on housing was one of his failings: “The housing market has taken a very long time to come back. And we put forward programs initially in the first year that we thought would get more take up. They didn't move as fast as they could have. And so in the second year we got more aggressive, fine-tuned it. I think we're starting to see a lot more progress on that front. But that's an example -- one of several -- in which you try something, it doesn't work. And then you try something again.”