March 28th, 2010
09:57 AM ET
7 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. Hroark

    "...I did not have....sexual relations...with THAT woman...Ms. Lewinsky.."

    March 28, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. T'SAH from Virginia

    @Steph – Actually, CAN'Tors window is on the 3rd floor and the STRAY bullet hit a 1st floor window!!! LOL

    @Florence – Yes, it's strange that none of that was brought up about the fund-raising after the YOU LIE and "BABY KILLER" erupted... Maybe Axelrod should have thought quick enough and mention it himself!

    I think that fundraising has become a game – politicians feel they can only gain funds when they become Arrogant and Hateful. So if a party is Arrogant and Hateful, then why not take advantage and use it AGAINST them.

    Do not forget, after the YOU LIE and BABY KILLER remarks, a lot of Democrats donated money to their party too!! Hey, so it seems like the Democrats may gain more while the RepubliCAN'Ts are acting like ASHholes!!!

    March 28, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. thax Mr.axelrod for telling it the way it is

    Mr axelrod not only are the republicans responsible but FOX, RUSH , PALIN, need to take 30% each and CNN AND TAKE 10%.

    March 28, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. steve

    I think yelling "fire" in a movie theater is a criminal offense. Yes, we are interested in the show (but only if you bring facts) but not getting trampled as a result of joining. This is the type of democracy that makes Amerca great?

    March 28, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Anonymous

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

    March 28, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Ashamed American

    Voted for the GOP once...NEVER AGAIN

    March 28, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Keith VanZandt

    There is an old saying about if it looks smells and acts a certain way then it probably is that thing or whatever. When the radical right i.e.Tea Party and the likes of Rush(Oxycotin)Limpbaugh(Viagra) and their ilk spew their hatred of Pres. Obama and the Dems. that voted for the health care bill and then act appalled when they are taken for their word by people who feel it is alright to threaten and scream racial epithats at congressmen of color they need to be held accountable. When the radical right darling of the moment Sarah Palin puts up a blog on her facebook page that has a rifle scope crosshairs on the democrats she wants beaten in the next election you just know some fanatic is going to take her literally and shoot someone.

    March 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Kitt Katt

    I want to know where was this voice of outrage when Bush was in office, they wrote a book about how to kill him. I find the left so over the top on this it's sad.

    March 28, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. rangle

    Bless the Liberals for all they have done for this country.thanks to CNN for all of its help also.It would not have been possible except for your free time you gave to these problems that face us.

    March 28, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    Fair is fair. If the Republicans wan't to embrace fringe elements like the three percenters, then they need to accept the consequences. There is no greater threat to our democracy than the threats of violence for differing viewpoints. For some to be so afraid that we are turning into socialists, you'd think they'd be just as afraid of turning us into Iran.

    March 28, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. phoenix86

    What Axlerod wanted to say is that the administration is extremely pleased that they have been able to divert the press to focus on the "threats" instead of "the accomplishments" of last week.

    This administration is a band of Chicago thugs, arrogant and ignorant.

    March 28, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    Hello???? Who was more out of line? The Democrats sending out a fundraising letter based on actual events of threats and violence (vandalism) or the Republicans who fanned the flames and racheted up the rhetoric and anger over a health policy that will help millions of Americans who don't or can't currently afford health insurance?

    I was one of those people who were unemployed for about 1-1/2 years but finally landed a good job....during that year and a half, I had no health insurance, and could not afford it on my own with the unemployment I was getting. My theory is all those 'teabaggers' protesting the health insurance reform ALREADY have their butts covered with health insurance! I guess there is no need to worry about your fellow citizens as long as your @ss is covered.

    March 28, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Pragmatic

    ... and how like the party of rove to blame the victims ... pretend it was really Democrats calling all those nasty, nasty messages and throwing their own bricks... and how like the teapot people and the GOP to swallow the lies – hook – line & sinker. ... repeating the lies on cue.

    March 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. thax Mr.axelrod for telling it the way it is

    Can someone explain to me why everytime the repugs do something like call the dems names, all most have started a riot, stops unemployement for some people which is there only income and, every news station always says the dems and the repugs need to stop this and that and it be the repugs thats doing it? pls explain!

    March 28, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |

    annie against biased news

    It's funny Annie, I keep seeing your posts all over the place-dozens and dozens of places! It must be nice to have so much time on your hands and then it dawned on me-YOU ARE A PAID PROFESSIONAL POSTER probably getting money from that truely unbiased new channel FOX NEWS the voice of the KKK and Republican right wing nut jobs! WE SEE THROUGH YOU so why don't you just knock it off and go find something constructive to do!

    March 28, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Frozone

    Republicans are nothing more than criminals.

    March 28, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. norwalkpa

    NOBODY in the media can seem to give an answer to the question...where was the outrage or distain for the lunatic liberals who were shanting...KILL BUSH...KILL CHENEY. VANDALIZING the offices of republicans during the iraq war (pre-victory).

    it's utterly facinating how the left consistently gets passes when it comes to issues like this.

    March 28, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. snpsmom

    This OfA member thinks you are wrong about fundraising on the threats, Mr. Axelrod. There are some things that are beyond the pale and this is one oof them. The threats are wrong and you are wrong to try to make political hay of them.

    March 28, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Jim kowas

    The problem is, our representatives listened to the directions of Obama and Pelosi rather than their constituents. It makes a lot of people angry when the democracy fails like this.

    March 28, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. lib

    norwalk, I don't condone violence or threats of any kind to any human especially to our officials when we can vote them out. But you have to realize that because of these wars thousand of parents are without their children. It is heartbreaking so many lives were taken because of lies and still are taken, Instead of all this violence against a bill that may save lives, show your outrage for the continuation against these wars. Many of these outrages were personal and not against the bill.

    March 28, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Len Smith

    Republicans are a non issue, as are the so called white tea party members. The Democrats are the only party that has done anything for the average America in my lifetime and before. Where would most of the so called tea party members, be if there was no GI Bill, democrat, or SS, democrat, or medicare, democrat. and on and on and on.

    The Republicans are interested in themselves and only themselves, along with most of the rich. Who has created the debt in this country, since the 80s? republican, republican. I think the only surplus created was by a democrat.

    They are meaningless people.

    March 28, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Ashamed American

    We need to help the president people! Go out there and vote PROGRESSIVE!

    March 28, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Chuck in Jasper Georgia

    JediMasterMatt what is even more outrageous by these thugs are those calling themselves "pro-life". They are not pro-life. They are in fact ANTI-ABORTION, ANTI-FREEDOM OF CHOICE, while screaming about a socialist/communist take-over. If they were "pro-life", they certainly would not oppose this reform, that could by most estimates save 40,000 lives a year. How is the life of an unborn fetus more worthy of life than those already here needing insurance? Rather hypocritical to call oneself "pro-life" because it sounds better to being in favor of something instead of against something. Pro-life is a term coined by an Anti-Abortionist that wanted to give people a better image but a lot of people see the hypocracy when its pointed out.

    March 28, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. Debby

    Oh please Axelrod your ran such a sleezy campaign agains Hillary Clinton during the primaries and you have the nerve to blame Republicans just for trying to make their point why this healthcare bill sucks. You are such a hypocrite its pathetic.

    Why didn't you have the American people vote on healthcare vs. just having your Dems. in the house, congress and senate taking our rights away as voters. Our country use to be a democrocy.

    March 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. reACTIONary


    I don't recall any KILL any body. I remember calls for investigation and impeachment. I guess in some people's minds investigation and prosecution under the law are the equivalent of mob violence. I wonder who that would be?

    March 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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