“People have a right to be grouchy,” Obama adviser David Axelrod said on CNN’s State of the Union when asked about Obama’s sagging approval rating, which is now just below 50 percent.
“There’s ten percent unemployment,” the top presidential adviser also pointed out. “These are tough times.”
“We took over in January in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, fiscal crisis, financial crisis, two wars,” Obama also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “The president has had to make a lot of tough decisions to try and rescue our economy from collapse, to move this country forward and we are going to reap the benefits of that.”
Although Axelrod acknowledged that Obama’s approval ratings had fallen considerably during his first year in office, Axelrod also said that the White House was not focused on polling data.
“One one thing I can assure you, though. The numbers the president is looking at aren’t these numbers,” Axelrod said as he pointed to a year-long graph of Obama’s approval and disapproval ratings.
Looking ahead to the 2010 midterm elections, Axelrod also tried to downplay the political headwinds Democrats are facing.
“We take the long view,” Axelrod told King. “The fact is: if we do our job right, if we keep worrying not about polls but about the jobs of the American people, about their health care, about their ability to educate their kids, stay in their homes and own their homes, send their kids to college – the basic pillars of a middle class life. If we keep worrying about the future and building a stronger future for this country, these things will take care of themselves.”
“Right now, we’re not worried about polls,” Axelrod said Sunday. “I believe we’re going to do well next November,” he added, “because the president’s making good, hard and important decisions to move this country forward.”