6:24am PT by Erin Carlson
Brian Williams' Obama Interview: 'The Things I Say, I Mean' (Video)
President Obama tells NBC's Brian Williams that he's not surprised by the close presidential race with Mitt Romney, and that he did not expect his re-election chances to grow after such achievements as the killing of Osama bin Laden.
"You guys have some short memories. Folks in your business were writing me off a year ago, saying there's no way I would win," Obama told Williams in an interview while on the campaign trail in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday.
"These things go in ebbs and flows, and the one thing I've tried to always be is just steady in terms of what I believe in, who I'm fighting for. I think that one of the qualities I bring to bear in this campaign is people see what did I say I was gonna do in 2008 and what I have delivered. And they can have some confidence that the things I say, I mean."
Obama granted NBC News extensive access to shadow him as he makes the rounds in seven swing states ahead of Election Day. His sitdown with Williams aired on Wednesday's Nightly News and the Today Show on Thursday. A bulk of the footage will air on Thursday night's Rock Center.
"We always knew this was gonna be a close race from the start, and what we have right now is a lead that we've maintained throughout this campaign," said Obama. "And we are going just continue to drive home the message that there are two fundamentally different choices in this election about where we take the country."
When pressed on the release of a 20-page document outlining his 2013-2017 strategy the day after Monday's final debate, with Williams suggesting it was perhaps a last-ditch sign of desperation, Obama countered: "I don't know why you say this is late in the game. This is exactly what I laid out at my convention. Every point that's in there is what I said when we accepted the Democratic nomination is what we do to build up the middle class in this country."
Obama was also blunt about his rapport (or lack thereof) with Romney.
"When you're candidates and you haven't really interacted before, you can't say that you've got a real relationship there. .. I don't think that any relationship between me and Mitt Romney is different from previous presidential campaigns. ... I don't think anybody would say while you were in the middle of a campaign, you felt deep affection for the other guy."
Watch the Nightly News clip below.