(video by Lynn Sweet)
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.--Obama campaign manager Jim Messina hit the spin room at Hofstra University before the debate to rebut comments Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) made at his stop in the media center. Portman said that Mitt Romney was ahead in battleground Ohio, according to their internal tracking polls.
That brought a strong response from Messina, who picked up on the point that the so-called Portman lead was within the margin of error.
"When you talk about internal tracking polls in the margin of error, you are loosing," Messina said. "And that is exactly what they are doing in Ohio. We are leading in battleground states. We continue to lead in important places like Ohio and Iowa and Wisconsin because there is a clear difference in this election. Gov. Romney is going to struggle to defend his position."