March 28th, 2010
09:57 AM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod weighs in on Dem fundraising appeals related to threats

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN that recent reports of threats and violence should not overshadow the administration's accomplishments in the last week.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN that recent reports of threats and violence should not overshadow the administration's accomplishments in the last week.

Washington (CNN) – A senior adviser to the president said his party was not out of bounds in issuing fundraising appeals linked to recent threats of violence against congressional Democrats.

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod also suggested congressional Republicans bore some responsibility for the overheated rhetoric and incidents of vandalism directed at Democrats.

After multiple incidents of violence and threats directed at the offices and even the homes of some Democrats who voted for the recently passed health care legislation, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the head of President Obama’s grassroots political operation both sent fundraising messages to supporters that mentioned the recent incidents.

Asked about those fundraising appeals in an interview that airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Axelrod said, “I think that they were within the parameters of acceptable fundraising. I would rather there were not events around which to send out missives like that.”

Related: Health care reform anger takes violent turn

Axelrod, who is widely credited with crafting Obama’s messaging during the presidential race, also suggested to CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that there is a “cause and effect” relationship between some of the rhetoric congressional Republicans used in the final days of health care debate and the recent violence and threats.

“The thing is that one thing leads to the next,” Axelrod told Crowley, “If you use incendiary terms, and then people respond with acts, then … you have to look at cause and effect.”

Ever the message maven, Axelrod also pointed out that the administration had a number of accomplishments in the past week that were being overshadowed by the reports of violence and vandalism and the high-pitched political rhetoric following the passage of the health care bill.

“In an environment in which people are so cynical about getting things done we accomplished a landmark health insurance reform, we reformed the student loan system,” Axelrod said.

The Obama adviser also pointed to the White House’s announcement that it has reached a nuclear arms control agreement with Russia.

“This was a week of progress and so we shouldn’t get detoured into the intramurals here,” he told Crowley.

Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN


Filed under: David Axelrod • Democrats • Health care • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. ib

    Of course not the democrats are never out of line on anything they do. Why hasn't someone come forward for the $10,000 reward with a film showing the person spitting at the congressman. I'm not saying it didn't happen it just seems to me there should be one since so many cameras were onsight. In my opinion they are building the violence up so they can benefit from it. Obama's term of " bring it on" to the people who don't support him is out of line and makes him sound arrogrant and self centered.

    March 28, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. dan smith

    Yep knew it Obamabots are behind all the threats.what better way to gain sympathy than to have your supporters make threats and then blame it on your opposition. Obama is just another hack Chicago Thug.

    March 28, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Jerry

    Is this guy for real, sounds like a nazi

    March 28, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Terry from West Texas

    Our business, political, and religious leaders have learned that every crisis is a fund-raising opportunity. When poor brain-dead Terri Schiavo was the subject of much Conservative attention, the televangelists and Conservative fund-raisers were doing everything they could to ring that big cash register, and they shook every dime they could out of the hayseeds.

    When a bleached-out, noseless, pedophile named Michael Jackson died of a drug overdose, his family spared no effort at commercializing his death. They have done everything but sell parts of his skeleton to weeping fans, who have been convinced that he was a saint. If you are a millionaire and make an offer for his skull, some representative of his estate would ask you how much money did you have in mind.

    Dennis Hopper, alas, is dying. Plans are being made by his heirs, as we speak, I'd wager, to issue memorial cd's, posters, etc. etc. to make that Big Cash Register In The Sky ring like thunder.

    Every dark cloud has a silver lining, called an income opportunity.

    March 28, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Florence

    Candy Crowley is such a tool – Why are you bringing DNC fund raising letter. I noticed the focus is on Democrats, what about the Texas Rep "Baby Killer" web page asking for money after the incident. Why didn't you bring that up. Or the lie Congressman said after being outed that he wasn't calling Stupak a "Baby Killer" but the bill he was against. Or for that matter Joe "you lie" Wilson who raised millions out of disrespecting the president.

    In my opinion it's the media that foster these negative, and ugly talks.
    The ratings game is what is the real evil in this country. You guys elevate the negativity because it will win you viewership- who doesn't like drama. So, Candy check your talking points at the door and you wil sound more credible to me.

    P.S. Recess appointment I'm all in. John McCain already determined Obama will get no cooperation. Governing is better then stalemate, so I agree Obama should give them stomach ulcers thinking about his next move..

    March 28, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. Ridgeway

    Cry babies. Part of being a Dem is putting a rubber sheet on your bed. Wimpy creeps and Axelrod is really a pusscatore. They're all dorks.

    March 28, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    To a republican, fundraising from "You Lie!' and "Baby Killer!" congressmen is OK, but it is not OK for democrats to fundraise against threats and acts of violence from the right. The GOP just keeps fueling the fire.

    March 28, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Hannity has never seen anything negative coming from the tea baggers? The truth has never been important in the reporting from Fox, thanks to the likes of Dr. Evil Murdoch, Mini Me Beck, or Fat Bastard Hannity.

    March 28, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Axelrod also suggested congressional Republicans bore some responsibility for the overheated rhetoric and incidents of vandalism directed at Democrats."

    No, betraying the express will of a majority of the American people is what's causing the violence.

    What the Democrats did was an utter repudiation of the principles of democracy on which this country was founded, and isn't treason only because the Constitution specifies only a very narrow interpretation of that crime.

    March 28, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. jojomcgee

    Lets talk William Ayers, Axel honey.

    March 28, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    As stated by many, the Reds certainly have despicable acts and then turn it into a fund raising campaign. At least these threats the Dems did not come from within the party..

    In this case, maybe some of the contributions will be used to fight the racist redneck's and their lies that started this "revolution".

    March 28, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Wow! I think you right wingnuts are idiots if you feel the moron tea baggers' activities have not been spurred by hate, fear and divisiveness. I know you would never get negative video shown on Fox, but if you would view other channels, you would have seen the nastiness directed at a person suffering from parkinsons, the unnecessary threats toward congressmen, and the vandalism at the offices of democratic congressmen. Get your heads out of the sand, you low life thugs.

    March 28, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Yas

    I absolutely agree with him...the Republicans need to take responsiblity for alot of the threats and anger taking place due to all the fear, hate and lies they spewed (and continue to spew)...I truly don't know how they can sleep at night....

    People remember we are their bosses/employers, if this happened in real world (corporate) they would have been FIRED for half the stuff they said and pulled...let's get rid of as many (GOP obstructionist) as possible in Nov and 2012.

    Otherwise this country will be at a standstill or at the very least take 18 months and constant battle to get anything done....afterall isn't that what McConnell said 2 weeks before the President took oath of office..that their objective was to not work w/ administration and block everything (even if they actually agree with it). They have NO INTENTION of working on anything of substance in a Bi-partisan manner. They are not concerned with what is better for this great country of our or the people in it....it is all a party political game to them.

    It is disgusting how they are using the angst and despair of the american people during this terrible economic time to whip raw emotions to such a fever pitch that they threaten lives.

    I pray every day that something doesn't happen....but heaven forbid it does "I'M SORRY" from the GOP National Committee or McConnell, Cantor, Boehner, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh etc... is not going to be enough...they should all be prosecuted.

    March 28, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. Steph

    Has Cantor come out to correct his whining press conference about being a subject of the violence? The police report states it was random gun fire the caused the crack in his office window. His office wasn't a target.

    Yes, guns are great. Everyone should run around and shoot them off into the air. Nothing bad could happen, right?

    March 28, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. 6.5 Years the shrub worked and 1.5 years the shrub rested, just think, the recession could have been worse!

    “If you use incendiary terms, and then people respond with acts, then … you have to look at cause and effect.”

    I completely agree, and the fact that Palin was putting rifle scopes on a map and urging her followers "not to RETREAT but RELOAD" was the worst.

    March 28, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. annie against biased news

    Isn't it ironic the demoncraps are asking for a $5 donation for the lies they told against the Tea Party Movement? Heck, they should have just ask for $5 for EVERY lie they have told period. That would have been enough to pay off the National Debt plus given them a huge campaign surplus. Show us the video! We have plenty of videos of all the other lies you tell! Ask for $5 donation for each of those – you would be rich off of obama alone.

    March 28, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Desmond in Canada

    Power at all costs, any cost, and the sordid nastiness that goes with it is engrained in the social DNA of the Repubs. I have no doubt that the rhetoric of their leaders was aimed at insitgating the rabble that makes up their following!

    March 28, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. nick

    You GOPer hate monger should be ashamed of yourselves if you had even the slightest bit of honor; BUT, time and again you have proved that honor and GOP are mutually exclusive.

    March 28, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. Chris

    The Republicans behavior in all of this has been completely unacceptable. Ever since Obama's election, there has a steady and growing stream of inflammatory rhetoric coming front the Right. They have now crossed over into thuggish acts of threats and vandalism. This has no place in a civilized society, much less in the upper reaches of the government. The leadership of the GOP responds by refusing to sign a joint "civility statment" and only issuing a half-hearted admonishment, all the while spending most of their time blaming and criticizing the Democrats.

    We live in a two party system. So funds for one party are also funds against the other party. I'm an independent, moderate. So I really don't consider myself pro-Democrat. But the Republicans have been acting more and more like the Brown Shirts, and I no longer want them near any sort of power or influence in America.

    March 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    If republicans got $5 for every lie that have told about health reform, tax increases, government takeover, socialism, communism, marxism, death panels, they would never have to fund raise again. Their entire platform is based on lies, hate, fear, and misrepresentations.

    March 28, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. rachel

    All either party cares about is political points. Every incumbent needs to go. Rebulicans bear some responsiblity now, but I think Obama set the tone back in 08 when he said I want you to get in their faces, looks like they are taking your advice. I am also sick of Valerie Jarret and Axelrod beign on every sunday morning show every sunday where is YOUR cabinet you know the ones that are suppose to explain your policy.

    March 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. lyn

    CNN stop being so bias towards the Democrats,it is OK for the Republicans to fundraising but not for the Democrats, we know that you reporters on CNN are all Republicans darn it stop being bias with your reporting is it not that reporting suppose to be fair do that be fair,you seem to give that woman Palin who is spreading lies ,hate and violence around America,stop giving this hateful woman air time it is bad for America CNN look at what is happening with the violence towards the Democrats, your reporting of this hateful woman is only spreading VIOLENCE . CNN BE FAIR.

    March 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Michelle

    Right, ib, we're praying that someone gets shot so we can blame the Republicans! Kind of like Cheney wishing for an attack so he could stick out his tongue and say,"told you so." Sorry, we're a bit more mature than the right. We actually tried to play nice about health care, but you took all your toys and stood in the corner whining about bipartisanship, as if the right even knows what that means. I really wish that the tea baggers would see that Palin et al are using them to make money...and that they lie!

    March 28, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Why is it that the tea baggers appear to be made of "Escapees" who live in their motor homes to avoid paying any taxes, yet drive on taxpayers roads, stay in taxpayers state and national parks, use government post offices to get their forwarded mail, and yet complain about paying taxes?

    March 28, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Mark

    Miller, you're talking through your hat. Even your buddy Wolf Blitzer has been forced to admit that the "majority" opposed to the reform bill broke down to about 38% opposed to reform for your reasons and about 15% angry that it isn't progressive enough.

    Trying to improve the performance of the health care system is treason and starting a war of aggression based on lies and bogus intel isn't? Advocating the violent overthrow of a democracy that's been operating entirely within the rules isn't?

    Apparently your definition of "treason" is "anything I don't like." Or more accurately, "anything I can't be bothered to understand."

    March 28, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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