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Obama campaign chief Jim Messina misquotes Florida tea-party activist’s email

In a conference call with reporters today, President Obama’s campaign manager boasted about the Democratic ground game and how the vagaries of the Electoral College disfavor Romney.

“We have the map and they have the myths,” Messina said.

But he then engaged in some myth-telling himself when he talked about the Obama campaign’s turnout machine in Florida (which is doing well).

“You don’t have to take my word for it,” Messina said. “A Republican in Florida had this to say yesterday in a memo, quote: ‘The Democratic turnout machine is cleaning our clock.’ End quote.”

But that wasn’t really the quote. And there's a little context he left out as well.

The email in question, reported first by WPTV in West Palm Beach, came from Palm Beach County tea party activist. It was about the strong Democratic turnout in Palm Beach County.

Messina’s comments, though, made it sound like the Republican was talking about the entire state, and in doing so misquoted the email that said “the Democrat turnout machine in the county has been very effective and they are cleaning our clock.”

Note the phrase “in the county.” It was utterly absent from what Messina said.

Another thing Messina left out? The sentiment that Romney will probably win: “Even if Romney wins the state (likely based on polls), the turnout deficit in PBC will affect our local races.”

Still, Messina’s right that there’s concern in Florida. But it’s on both sides. And while the trends look good for Obama right now, the polls don’t in Florida.