Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday declared a winner in the first presidential debate--hours before the all-important face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"The President won. The President won. I'll give you my assessment right now," said Emanuel, the former White House chief-of-staff who stepped down recently as co-chairman of Obama's re-election campaign to serve as a chief fundraiser for the President.
"He won because, through his presidency, he has addressed the concerns of the middle-class. He will continue to speak to that. And Mitt Romney has shown over the time since he's run for the Presidency and been the nominee that he is tone-deaf to the concerns of the middle-class."
Asked to give his former boss advice on how to prepare for a presidential debate, Emanuel said, "Remember that you're having a conversation with the American people--not just the person on the stage. And remember what your basic point is."
Reprising the speech he delivered to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Emanuel said Obama has "a strong argument to make" about his record as a champion for the middle-class.
"From Day One, [his] concern about the troubles, the challenges that are facing the middle-class of this country--from owning a home, providing health care, saving for their retirement, providing for their children [to] having the ability to find a job," the mayor said.