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“I am not surprised that this is a longer bit of work than many of us would have hoped,” said Mr. O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. “It is not where any of us would have hoped it is. And I think we need to give credit to the Republicans in Congress who have done everything they can to defeat every jobs bill and slow down the economy.”

“The average American recognizes that it took years to create the crisis,” Mr. Axelrod said, “and it’s going to take years to work through it.”

Mr. Villaraigosa, who appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” also criticized Republicans for a plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants to Mexico, which makes them “scapegoats and demonizes them.”

He said winning in 2012 will be tougher for Democrats than it was in 2008.

“It’s going to be a tough re-election,” he said. “We had a banner year in 2008; obviously, we’re not going to have that kind of year this time around. We’re going to have our work cut out for us, and, in the end, I think we’re going to win.”