NEW YORK, March 1 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday the 2012 election will be close but on individual issues, Democrats win the "argument every time."
Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser in New York, the president -- as has become his election-year custom -- took credit for improvement in employment, expanded credit flow, the auto industry recovery and expanded U.S. manufacturing. However, he also told donors "there are a lot of folks out there who are still having a tough time."
"There are a lot of small businesses that still have trouble getting credit. The unemployment rate remains too high," he said.
"But the trend lines are good," Obama said. "The economy is stronger, we are more productive, and we are poised to be able to take advantage of a moment where all the things that we're good at -- innovation, dynamism, entrepreneurship -- all those things are going to be at a greater premium than ever before."
The president told supporters he is "pretty confident" Democrats can win in November but "this is going to be a close election."
"Nobody is under any illusion that this isn't going to be a tight race for us," he said. "But as I travel around the country and I talk to folks, including people who don't support me, when you break down the individual items that are being debated right now -- how do we balance this budget, what our tax policy should be, should we be investing in education, should we make sure that science and basic research continue to be paramount in our economy, do we have an obligation to make sure that our seniors can retire with dignity and respect -- we win that argument every time."