Karl Rove: Barack Obama Preparing Vicious 2012 Election Battle Against GOP Candidate

Karl Rove predicted the 2012 presidential race would be vicious, claiming the Republican candidate will face a harsh election battle thanks to President Barack Obama's "hard-nosed Chicago pols."

The former White House deputy chief of staff for George W. Bush said Obama has "walked out on his daytime job" to focus exclusively on reelection and is ready to subject the GOP nominee "to the worst beating of their life, every day for roughly 11 months" in an interview with Newsmax. Rove said that while Obama is "very smart," he's "not a mere mortal, in his mind."

Discussing the deficit reduction efforts, Rove said Obama "made a fundamental mistake" by not getting more involved. Rove said he believes Obama chose not to do more to help with the debt crisis because "there was no upside for him to be involved."

"If he had gotten involved and achieved $1.2 trillion in real savings, it would have fired up the markets, given confidence that America is tackling its economic challenges and particularly its entitlement challenges, and would have put him in a better place for his reelection," Rove said.

Rove -- who has offered up advice to Obama before -- said that Obama has a chance at being reelected because "he's willing to say and do anything in order to get reelected."

"I'd say it's 55 percent that he doesn't get reelected, 45 percent that he might, and it's going to be a very close-run thing," Rove said.

Rove said he wasn't sure which candidate would earn the Republican nomination, but predicted a frontrunner would emerge sometime before the Iowa caucuses in January.

"We don't know," Rove said. "That's what we have these elections about, and I suspect in the next 30 some-odd days left before the vote in Iowa we're going to learn a lot about the capacity of these people to run a strong, effective campaign."

Obama wasn't the only target of Rove's criticism during the interview. The influential Republican also had harsh words for the Occupy Wall Street protesters, calling them "a group of nuts and lunatics."