April 19th, 2009
11:18 AM ET
8 years ago

Axelrod suggests 'Tea Party' movement is 'unhealthy'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senior White House adviser David Axelrod on Sunday suggested the "Tea Party" movement is an "unhealthy" reaction to the tough economic climate facing the country.

Axelrod was asked on CBS's "Face the Nation" about the "spreading and very public disaffection" with the president's fiscal policies seen at the "Tea Party" rallies around the country last week.

"I think any time you have severe economic conditions there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy," Axelrod said.

Axelrod appeared to backtrack when pressed on whether the movement is unhealthy.

"Well, this is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves, and so far these are expressions," he said.

"The thing that bewilders me is that this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people," Axelrod argued. "I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere because he certainly understands the burden that people face."

Democratic strategist James Carville disagreed with Axelrod on CNN's "State of the Union" when John King asked him if it's unhealthy for "an American to go out and hold a sign and say 'I think my taxes are too high.'"

Carville said, "No." He called the Tea Party movement "harmless and damaging to Republicans."

On CBS, Axelrod also responded to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's recent insinuation that his state could secede from the union in response to government overreach under President Obama.

"I don't think that really warrants a serious response," Axelrod said. "I don't think most Texans were all that enthused by the governor's suggestion."

Filed under: David Axelrod • State of the Union
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Where is fox news credility after promoting tea parties. Where is journalistic integrity?

    April 19, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. MADinAZ

    Back in the 90s, we tried to say, "these are just nutjobs; ignore them."

    Then one of them blew up the Federal building in Oklahoma City.


    April 19, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Two Types

    These "Teabaggers" were not spontaneous, grass roots demonstrators seeking a mutual pleasurable outcome for America as a result of their acts.

    They were sneaky, perverted, planners who thought they could take advantage of April 15th and some historical imagery to marginally malign the administration for a cheap thrill that benefited their own selfish interests.

    Seems there are always two types of teabaggers.

    April 19, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Paul H

    The thing I notice in today's society, is not only is our Government Representatives out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent, but now it seems as if the media is out of touch as well. The media used to be our eyes and ears into the places we cannot be on a daily basis.
    Now the media seems to be a mouth piece to that very Government that is out of touch!
    It's so obvious.

    April 19, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. AJ in Fla

    I agree, it is unhealthy to you mister. Wait until the next one...!!!!

    April 19, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. paksa

    When all else fails, play the race card....... This gets very tiring and so far from any semblence of truth.... Certainly doesn't promote dialogue.

    April 19, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. kiran, PA

    Thank you, "madinAz". Tim McVeigh is just like these teabaggers.

    April 19, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. Benjine-boston ma

    Cavuto, however, was ambitious enough to try to reconcile the appropriation of the tea-party imagery by a group of people who have representation but just don't like the results - or what they perceive to be the results, since real facts did not play a prominent role at these gatherings or on Fox News during these gatherings.

    April 19, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Message to GOP

    Stop trying so hard ..... to make us hate ANYTHING asssociated with the Administration of President Barack Hussien Obama.

    You're not a Svengali .... and we are not empty headed dones to be manipulated.


    April 19, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. ti

    Will Axelrod stop Bloomberg and the MTA from increasing fares ?

    April 19, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Claude

    Obama and his gang of tax dodgers and common criminals opened the door to the treasury for that gang of thieves from wall street, There-by
    saddling our childrens children with an insurmountable debt for the next five hundred years..and you obama disciples brag about the tax cut that
    obama allowed the working people, the ones that have to pay every ones bills....thirteen dollars more per week in our pay checks????? thats a tax CUT????and another thing I resent,, having to feed and clothe the obamas

    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."

    April 19, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. vennessa

    Right. From the beginning I could never understand the parallel between then and now that FOX and their ilk were trying to make. Like if they had protested a bank or something in all these cities, it might have made sense– even do a little something to cause some revenue grief somewhere. Anything.

    But no– this whole stunt made no sense.

    April 19, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Diane from NC

    This is a very DANGEROUS comment to make. Maybe he would be better advised to wake up and listen to the American public. No one is immune to defeat in the next election. American citizens have had enough and are beginning to take action.

    April 19, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Simmy

    Touche, Mr. Axelrod and Carville! TeaBaggers are hurting their party with their mockery outrage.....I agree with you, Jeff W.; their rage is definitely displaced. They are eight years late. The only ones benefiting from their tirades are tea manufacturers.

    Free speech is a right that we are priviledged to enjoy. It was not meant to be used as an occasion for individuals to incite recklessness and danger.

    April 19, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Rob

    The protesters, many of which it's safe to assume are devoted Fox News believers, were played like the instruments they are by wealthy conservative interests, much the same way Fox News talking heads play them on a daily basis.

    April 19, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. res45

    Mr. Axelrod,why don't you spend time helping find some qualified people to fill the cabinet positions that pay there taxes,instead of trying to stop people who do pay theres from exercising the rights to free speech.

    April 19, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. ruth

    The TEA PARTY was a flop. Think about it. The only network to talk about it was Fox and half they reported was lies. Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Windbag were EMBLISHING the numbers of the crowd count. Only no intelligent people listen to them. People who can't think for themselves that have to have other people do their thinking. How sad.

    April 19, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Rose

    He's got to be joking about cutting the taxes for the americans. I mean, just what is $2.27 a day tax cu for a married couple going to do? When here, they are force feeding BILLIONS of dollars of incentives to CEO"s and thier corprations to continue in the lifestyle they were accustomed to?

    Mutli million dollar bonuses, cruises, trips, gifts etc becaus ehtey canot be seen to lowere thier lifestyles as our esteemed president said but the lowly tax payers get to feet their living in luxury and we get a measley 2 buck tax cut..the president and all their cronies should be ashamed to spout this rhetoric..I mean really...2 dollar tax cut when everyone else gets thier $5000-$10,000 a DAY living expenses paid by us, the taxpayer. Amazing they have the gall to spout this garbage to us about tax cuts!

    April 19, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. The apology tour continues

    Liberals fresh off getting their talking points from puppet master Obama and Olbermann are out in force explaining why them getting a measly 400 dollar check (even the ones that uh, uh, uh don't PAY taxes) is comparable to bankrupting my childrens futures to uh, uh, uh spread the wealth.

    All of Obama's spending can NOT possibly be paid by the wealthy in this country and the FEES (like the ciggy tax,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,) and taxes down the road are going to effect all of us as well, but you SHEEP are too stupid to understand.

    Spread MY work ethic, not my wealth.

    Experiment failed, One and done Barry.

    April 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. person

    Today's headlines:

    David Axelrod says the word "unhealthy" to describe a gathering of non-color people who want to overthrow a governement headed by a biracial man who was fairly elected. POTUS serves for less than 100days and makes headway on international relations and wants to cut the taxes of these same people who lie and hate the current POTUS.

    Right wing goes stir crazy, because Axelrod uses the word "unhealthy", all the while these same bloggers on this website attended or support the divisive teabagging rallies chanting " socialism, kill him!"

    April 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Mike in VA

    What Axelrod means is the Tea Party movement is damaging to the Democrats and their socialist agenda.

    April 19, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. The Voice

    I am Democrat and an Obama supporter. The tea-party was mainly supported by the right wing masses and fox news of course. They are protesting the fact that they are no longer in control and justifiably so.

    But I do really think Americans need better tax cuts, $20 to $40 a month is really not going to cut it for many of us. Too many billions are going to corporations and not enough to the American people.

    April 19, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. mark

    one day, America will fall like URSS because of stupid republicans, teabaggers, catholics, right wing extremists, conservatists, racists and fox news.

    April 19, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Larry Schluetr

    Again, there is lies from the Democrats and the BO lovers. There is not a 95% decrease in taxes . . .there are not 95% of people paying taxes . . . if my statement is inocrrect, please provide actual facts . . . and remember, paying sales tax is not one of the things that BO and the Democs have cut. Therefore I am asking about taxes . . . and hopefully, there is enough intelligence to find the meaning of the word taxes.

    I will not hold my breath to get a response

    April 19, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Robin

    Obama's handshake with Chavez was perfect. African Americans , Latinos, Middle Easterner's all greet each other warmly, even with hugs-
    even when the relationship is not that close. It shows respect and caring.
    This is a president not afraid to you "I love you back" to the American people. This is why he is loved.

    April 19, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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