The Washington Times - October 31, 2012, 08:32AM

Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod tried to shrug off polls that show the presidential race tightening in states once thought to be leaning or safely in his boss’s column by pledging Wednesday to shave his moustache if Mitt Romney wins Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania.

“I will come on ‘Morning Joe’ and I will shave my moustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states,” he said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”


On the flip side, co-host Joe Scarborough pledged to grow a moustache if President Obama carries either North Carolina or Florida — two states he won in 2008 but are trending toward Mr. Romney this time around.

“You know what’s good for you is that after the election’s over you guys aren’t going to have that much to talk about, so people can tune in every day and watch your moustache grow,” Mr. Axelrod said.

Mr. Axelrod said that recent moves such as sending former President Bill Clinton to Minnesota or going up on the air in Pennsylvania and Michigan are not acts of desperation, but signs that they plan to compete hard through Election Day.

“It is reasonable to assume that we’re being prudent about those states — that we’re not going to take anything for granted,” Mr. Axelrod said. “And we have the resources, and we set aside resources so that if they went into states, we would go into states. I think that’s smart politics, but it’s certainly not a sign of either desperation or a tremendous amount of concern.

“But we’d be foolish to allow them to just spend millions and millions of dollars in these states and simply not do anything. We have the resources we need in those main battleground states, and [we] set aside some money for just this contingency, and wherever they went, we were going to go, and that’s the way we’re going to play it from now until next Tuesday.”