Taking their all-too-familiar “maybe if we just keep saying it loudly and bullishly enough, people will be convinced that it’s actually true” strategy, David Axelrod proclaimed on CNN on Sunday that the president is focused on pushing his agenda for the next four years over denigrating Mitt Romney, and that while the race is close, the Mitt-mentum — oops, I meant momentum, of course — is by-and-large on President Obama’s side.

“The president’s closing message is exactly what I said before, which is we’ve made some progress,” Axelrod said. “We have to build on that progress, and we have to move forward in a way that builds an economy that works for the middle class. What we can’t do is go back to the failed policies of the past.” …

“We’re going to keep hammering away at that choice until Election Day,” he said. “Because there’s a better future ahead of us, but we need to grab for it and not go backward to the policies that put us in this mess in the first place.”

As for the all-important momentum factor heading into the last full week of campaigning, Axelrod maintained his team was better positioned in the key battlegrounds that will determine the outcome of the election. …

“I have said this to you many times over the course of the last year,” he told Crowley. “It is a close race. As you look at these battleground states, we are even or ahead in virtually all of them, in these critical states like Ohio. We maintain a consistent lead.”

It’s no secret that early voting tends to favor Democrats in a big way, and Axelrod’s spin just isn’t enough to counter the president’s incessant “Romnesia!” iterations on the stump. In the presidential campaign’s closing days, Mitt Romney’s messaging has taken on an overwhelmingly positive message based on the good that conservative policies can have for our economy and our society, and his criticisms of the president are non-personal, serious, adult-sounding issues with the results of his policies. President Obama, meanwhile, is still out there spending a bunch of time running down the other guy instead of talking himself up (and even introducing desperate new gimmicks? Facepalm). This is the tone the president struck in New Hampshire on Saturday, via NBC:

“During Governor Romney’s campaign for governor down there, he promised the same thing he’s promising now — said he’d fight for jobs and middle-class families. But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefitted 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families to the tune of $750 million… Now, when he’s asked about this, he says, no these weren’t taxes, these were fees.” …

The president continued: “There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind. He raised fees to get a birth certificate, which would have been expensive for me.” …

“Massachusetts, when he was governor, ranked 48th in small-business creation. And one of the two states that ranked lower was Louisiana that had gotten hit by Hurricane Katrina. So this is a guy who has a track record of saying one thing and doing something else,” he said.

Hmm. I’ve got a creepin’ feeling that momentum and enthusiasm is working in Romney’s favor, and that it’s coming at just the right time, whatever Team Obama might say. Stephanie Cutter struck a similar tone on the Sunday shows, insisting that “there is momentum. There is movement out there with people wanting a second term of an Obama presidency. We feel good about where we are.” Keep telling yourself that, guys.