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“Tax the Rich” Could Be Winning Strategy for Obama, Politico’s Ben White Says

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With his approval ratings slump in the polls, his lock on the base slipping and his economic policies having little effect, President Obama appears to be trying a new strategy on the campaign trail.

Since unveiling his jobs plan in front of Congress earlier this month and in barnstorming stops and fundraisers over the last few weeks, the President is showing a feistier side in an effort to turn the tide. Instead of shying away from claims his policies are fueling the fire of class warfare, the President has been embracing his position, referring to himself as a "warrior" at last week's stop in Cincinnati:

"The Republicans, when I talked about this earlier in the week, they said, well, this is class warfare. You know what, if asking a billionaire to pay their fair share of taxes, to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare, then you know what, I'm a warrior for the middle class."

"He tried consolation, he tried 'the adult in the room strategy' to cut this deal with Boehner… his base said 'you're caving on everything. We don't like this.' They were threatening to basically revolt," says Ben White Politico's Wall Street Correspondent.

Obama's "more progressive vision" to tax the rich is not a guaranteed winning strategy but it's the "only strategy" that can work, White tells Aaron Task in the accompanying interview. "He's basically decided at this point this campaign is going to be based on, 'here's my vision on how we're going to fix this.' Not necessarily what I've done so far on the economy because he has no story to tell there."

The election outcome will likely be decided by the economy. If the economy dips into recession again or unemployment rises, Obama won't win a second term.

White predicts Obama will face former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the general election in a "very close race." White thinks Romney could have a winning ticket if he picks Florida Senator Mario Rubio as his running mate. (Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview where White handicaps the GOP field.)