Speaking at a private fundraiser Tuesday night in Austin, Texas, President Barack Obama said the stakes are higher in 2012 than they were in 2008 due to a partisan shift within the Republican Party.
Obama told the crowd of donors that his opponent four years ago, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), was a moderate compared to the likes of Mitt Romney, creating a much starker "contrast of visions" in this year's race.
Per a White House pool report:
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I mean, John McCain believed in campaign finance reform. He believed in climate change. He believed in science. (Laughter.) No -- I mean, when I speak about climate change, I mean, I think that’s -- I pay attention to scientists. He believed in immigration reform.
And right now, what we’ve seen is just a much more sharp division in terms of how we should move this country forward. And so, in some ways, this election I think is more important than in 2008, and it’s going to be a very close election.