November 4th, 2009
03:56 PM ET
8 years ago

Axelrod calls NY-23 'only national race of consequence'

David Axelrod said the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia were 'impacted by state issues.'

David Axelrod said the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia were 'impacted by state issues.'

(CNN) - Top White House aide David Axelrod brushed off Democratic electoral losses in Virginia and New Jersey Wednesday, calling the congressional race in New York's 23rd district the "only national race of consequence."

Axelrod told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey were "impacted by state issues" and that they were not national races. He said the results of those races should not intimidate moderate Democrats, who he said should focus instead on the election in upstate New York, where a Democrat won the seat for the first time in over 100 years.

"That's the race that most members of Congress are going to look at with interest, and that's the race they should," Axelrod said. "Because the message was, if you embrace the president's agenda… then you will do well and you'll energize voters and you'll get the kind of turnout you need to win your race."

Many Republicans have called the race in NY-23 a unique situation - since the local GOP appointed the nominee instead of conducting a primary, which they say Hoffman would have won - Axelrod called the chaotic contest evidence of an intra-party split.

"What you saw there was I think the future, or the near-term future of the Republican Party, civil war in which the right wing ran the moderates out of the party," Axelrod said. "And they ran right to the Democratic candidate. And I think that has some harbingers for what's to come."

Tune into The Situation Room beginning at 4 pm ET for the rest of Wolf Blitzer's interview with Axelrod.

Filed under: David Axelrod • NY-23
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Pat F

    What a JOKE!! Amen, Mobius, I can smell the flop sweat from here!!

    Obama and Biden made multiple personal appearances for the governors' races in NJ and VA – worth nothing, zip, nada.

    The kool-aid has worn off, and the voters have a big hangover. The punishment of the Dems has only just begun.

    November 4, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Geoff


    PALIN for Prez 2012, WooHoo!!!

    November 4, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. eva

    Yeah...keep up the crazies..the hate-mongering...good goin Palin..Beck..Rush!! The gift that keeps on givin.....I actually feel sorry for the moderates..they don't know which way to run....I guess any where but toward the loonies! HA

    November 4, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. ross berg-buffalo ny

    I'm not so sure he's right about the NJ and Virginia races but do think he's probably correct stating that members of Congress will pay greater attention to the Democratic victory in NY than the other two.

    I believe that Hoffman had a real chance of winning big time until he recieved Sarah Palins endorsement. IMHO that was the kiss of death.

    Exit polls of swing voters showed that her endorsement was given as a major reason for a majority of them to vote for the Democrat.

    I guess the lesson to be learned from that is if you're a Democratic candidate in 2010 do all you can to help your Republican opponent get Sarah Palins endorsement!!

    November 4, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Yes this is the same man who has dismissed TEA party members and called those of us who disagree with Obamacare names and demeaned us. He joins his boss in lying. Maybe he is not lying, maybe just to many delusion creating drugs. Keep Dreaming libertards, we are coming after you next. Obama, one and done.

    November 4, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. whaley41

    @ yea sure Sniffit, tell it to my friends who can't find jobs and are losing their homes. No end of recession for them. Stupid statement!

    November 4, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. CB!

    I actually heard Limbaugh say on the radio that if the Republicans ran a moderate they would lose and if they ran a conservative they would win. So, they kick out a moderate who was well on her way to winning and replaced her with a conservative who proceeded to lose a seat to a Democrat. And then the conservatives call this a victory? The conservative make lots of noise, but most Americans don't support them. Why can't they get this?

    November 4, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |

    "The congressional race in New York's 23rd district the "only national race of consequence," was it?

    Barack Obama won this district 52%-47% just a few months ago.

    Why didn’t the Democratic Party leadership and the DCCC specifically find someone in the district who could represent better that 52% who voted for Obama.

    Why did they pick out a conservative independent like Bill Owens and slap a “D” next to his name instead?

    Why do we now have yet another Blue Dog type in the Democratic Caucus?

    Not enough of them already?

    November 4, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Doug, New Jersey

    Like the other members of Obama's cabinet, David Axelrod is an evil man who has no remorse for his lying and distortions.

    The Democratic Party is now a party of only left wing extremists, aka socialists. It will be all decent, honest, fair-minded Americans joining together to take our nation back from the most evil, anti-American, dividers and liars that have ever occupied the White House in the history of this nation.

    Sorry Libs, most Americans are decent, honest people who have morals and values, your current day Democrat Party could not be any further in contradiction to what these great Americans hold dear. Think about it libs, there would be no America if most people actually thought like you. This nation would be lawless chaos, filled with people just robbing and stealing at will. You fooled some people in '08, but it's not going to happen again.

    November 4, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Norm

    Axle should send a quick note over to the GOP leadership.
    Palin,Rush and Beck....LOL...

    November 4, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Drew

    David Axelrod is the Duncan Imperial Yo-Yo of political spin. Dems win one contest out of about a dozen and he claims the Republicans have a serioius problem...unbelievable

    November 4, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Matt Lancaster PA

    I'm sure the President and Vice President stumping for the NJ and VA democratic nominees had nothing to do with it....

    November 4, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Frank, Las Vegas

    Congressmen run on, vote on and get elected on national issues, Senators run on, vote on and get elected on national issues, governors just, well they run on and get elected on state and local issues. There are state offices and national offices, hardly equal in any way. So yes, Mr. Alexrod is correct.

    November 4, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Charlie Parrot

    An independent, conservative nerd, with no political skills or experience, would have won the race had the Republican not withdrawn 48 hours before the election and thrown her support to the Democrat while portraying the nerd as an extremist vs. the independent Democrat. The Watertown media made sure the Repblican's message was heard.

    What 's astounding is that the nerd almost beat the unified Democrat and Republican effort. If I were Axelrod or Sessions, I would be very worried.

    November 4, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Terri Geis

    Yes, the national race was NY 23 BUT the fact that independents want strong for the Republicans in NJ and VA was a big story and it is worth looking at. Is the rest of the nation feeling this way? Also, state government does thing locally. So people want jobs, lower taxes, and a better economy and the federal government is definitely not doing that. So 2010 will be a big year. Do we want BIG government and most likely our taxes go up because of this spending or do we want to reign in our spending and programs (the last time I checked the federal government can't run anything). I know a lot of people who think Health Care needs to be done but not in the form that House has right now.

    November 4, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. wm weeks

    The White House A-Rod would say that, he has been well drilled in "ignore", watch the ball game.

    November 4, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Brenda

    Yeah, sure Axelrod.............

    Virginia was not important. That is why Obama campaigned there at "least" 3 times--as well as Biden and Clinton. And, based on Republicans winning ALL elections in Virginia--including almost a 20 point win for Governor---Obama and the Democrats have now lost Virginia for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

    And, a Democrat stronghold state like New Jersey being won by a Republican--yep, not important.

    And, the fact that these elections---and the national polling center results---saying that the majority of Independents no longer trust/support/approve of Obama and the Democrats---Yep, not important.

    November 4, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. bob

    It is funny how Obama's man can turn defeat into victory with just a few words and a wave of his hand. I guess he thought he had the touch of the master magician in the white house. he thought he could wave his arm, shout change and all would be milk and honey.

    Virginia and New Jersey voters showed that real issues of jobs and taxes spinning out of control due to the dems are the main stream issues,not being green or kissing up to foreign dictators. They rejected the politics of Obama,Reid and Pelosi

    November 4, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. susie

    If New Jersey wasn't significant, than why did Obama campaign there for 5 times?

    November 4, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Doug, New Jersey

    Look at the picture, if you were to strip Dr. Phil of every ounce of morals, values, decency, and integrity he has, you are left with an Axelrod.

    As bad of a person as he is, an Axel Rose has a million times more decency and integrity than this hate-filled socialist liar Axelrod.

    BTW, watch your phrasing CNN, you once said Obama's Axelrod, I certainly wouldn't want to be near the Chris Mathews type of ticker libs when they read that (someone hand that lib a towl). LOL

    November 4, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    2 won and how many to go? The only way they will win all is to steal them just like George W. Bush stole Florida.

    November 4, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. David Newport, OR

    What gubernatorial race will impact any National policy? Zero...that's what I thought. If the people are stupid enough to vote in Republicans, then they can have more of the same that we are clawing our way out of. It is easy to complain about a 10% unemployment rate. That's bad. But is it better than 15%?

    November 4, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Dave

    That's funny, the other races are ignored since they are a clear indication that people don't want increased debt and deficits!

    November 4, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. TangledThorns

    Axelrod is playing ignorant to the fact Obama was useless in NJ and VA. Obama has no clout in 2010. Sarah Palin does have power and will restore the House back to the GOP next year!!

    November 4, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. peterg

    You can fool yourselves all you want, but a message was sent yesterday. NY23 and the conservative/moderate debate in the GOP is a smokescreen. Look at the voting in the DC and NY suburbs. Pols that have been raising taxes and expanding government were voted out or barely hung on. These areas were strongly for Obama in 08. If he keeps pushing ahead with health reform and climate change legislation that will result in higher taxes and with no guarantee of working, 2010 will be worse. The independents will not go back to the Dems if they press with the agenda. Clinton learned that lesson in 94 and was able to get re-elected. Will Obama?

    November 4, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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