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. norwalkpa

    get rid of get rid of part of the problem.

    libral translation...


    to all you folks be used (brainwashed) by these idiots...i didn't know there was a step below them when it came to intelligence. reading some of these posts....i have my answer.

    March 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Axelrod is promoting the end of the union....

    by splitting the country into "us" and "them" .

    He seems to be forcing the 14 states who are suing the gov't over the constitutionality of Obamacare to secede from the union if they are unsuccessful.

    March 28, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Ashamed American

    GOP = Greed Over People

    March 28, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Mattski

    How dare the Democrats try to raise money on the healthcare vote fallout?!? God said only Republicans were allowed to do that! He told me!

    March 28, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Fed Up

    Let's make MONEY ($$$$$) because the American people are upset. Great idea!!! Shows you how arrogant these people are. The spitting incident never happened, according to the tape of the event. Even the man this happened to has back off the "spitting" part. WHO IS RILING UP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE????? Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out!!!

    March 28, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. All of america

    Listen axelshaft, the dems with their errogance and their ignorance brought all of this on themselves and they know it. Blaming this on the GOP is part of their propaganda . This administration needs to stop pointing fingers at at every body else for their poor leadership. The republicans are not to blame because this administration is the worst in American history.

    March 28, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Chuck in Jasper Georgia

    Lies on top of lies. Republicans keep repeating the same thing.. "The majority of people were against this legislature. " People are outraged that our Government has passed this legislature against the will of the people".. I wonder when one of you clowns will admit that a lot of the opposition, a lot of the anger, is based on lies that the republican nor conservative leadership publicly refted although they knew it was false and was iciting people. The only thing your misguided leadership was interested in was stirring the pot and maintaining opposition, it did not matter that they were lies as long as people opposed it. Illegal aliens, death panels, etc. etc. Instead republican leadership stood back and laughed at the American people and watched people get angered to the point of violence. And still, for the most part, they are silent. TYhe are in my eyes traitors.

    March 28, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Reno

    Does anyone else feel like this all has to stop? This is plain craziness. All the cable news networks are hauling in the $$$$ based on all the fear that they have promoted. Please everyone go to a bipartisan site and read the bill and how it will affect you. I know it is scary, but get your facts straight. It is okay to be concerned but please know that news outlets make their money when they have everyone sucked in and scared. One of the things that I think speaks volumes is the fact that both the left, (no public option) and the right are not happy with this bill. Maybe this is compromise....

    March 28, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. norwalkpa

    lib...get a grip.

    first off...soldeirs die. that's what we're here for. you're welcome.

    secondly. NO. this bill will not save lives. and in the long will kill the elderly who will not be given a choice as to when to die...or to try and continue to live. not to mention the killing of the unborn.

    keep believin' everything being shoveled your way lib. we even protect the sheep!

    March 28, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Mary

    If the Sarah Palin followers and the other "hate" mongers would move out of the US, to maybe Siberia; this country would be far better off.
    The conservative movement of the Republican party has been a pox on this country.
    Everyone knows that the Republicans did nothing for 8 years, except cause a near "depression"!

    March 28, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. annie against biased news

    To: Voice of Reason – Sorry to burst your bubble but as far as I know obama is the only one paying people to blog (with our tax dollars) I work full time and still feel it is my duty as an American Citizen to do as much as I can to save our great nation. It is well worth any time spent if only one person wakes up and sees what is being done to our great nation! AND since you have forgotten, the KKK was formed by the demoncraps! You certainly don't see me on political ticker very often because normally cnn won't print blogs not in favor of this so-called administration – only blogs from far-left liberal lunatics.

    March 28, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. norwalkpa

    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.

    len...i'm so frightened and offended by your comments. do i need a lawyer...or axelrod? either one would be out of the liberal playbook.

    March 28, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. usualone

    Some of us gave monies to the party before requests and that had to do with the vicious attacks on the Democrats bo the outfront Republicans. I bet most of US citizens detest these kinds of attacks and maybe these silent majority will be like waking up the sleeping lion.

    March 28, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. thax Mr.axelrod for telling it the way it is

    CANDY CROWLEY has never liked President Obama, you can tell because everytime she calls his name she look like she's smelling @#$%.

    March 28, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Anne from Houston

    I agree w/ your post Terry!
    Thanks for writing something meaningful among so many rants.

    March 28, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. John

    errogance? Just goes to show you that the only ones truly pissed off at Obama are the uneduc ated, toothless mutants that are easily led off the edge of a cliff

    March 28, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Blutarski

    Republicans have been getting rude messages, calls etc as well. So far the audio from some of these messages, which I listened to, were rude, deplorable and offensive, but not threatening. The only incident I heard of, which could be considered as being threatening, was the fax of a noose which was sent. I think everyone is blowing this out of proportion in an attempt to smear, and shut up their political opponents.

    March 28, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Chuck in Jasper Georgia

    NorwalkPa.. I do not know what military you belong to but the military I served in for over 20 years, my mission as a soldier was NOT to die. It was to follow orders and complete the mission. Our young are dieing for the oil companies profits. They are fighting a war based on lies of possession of WMD's and Hassein's alledged ties to terrorists organizations such as Al Qaeda or have you conveniently forgotting those FACTS. If anyone needs to get a grip, it is you.

    March 28, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Joan

    Right now it is the media that is fueling the controversy. It is pretty odd that Democratics are getting slammed for fighting back over the absolutely vicious and uncalled for reactions by the Republicans because they lost the health bill struggle. Get over it. Eric Cantor tried to change the topic and say his office was shot at but it turned out it was an exaggeration and the police said it was a random shooting. Nice try, Eric. He is the one who started the whole criticism of the Democratics fundraising strategies. How about the Republicans who fundraised on "You lie" and "Baby killer". Everyone who looks at this whole thing realistrically knows that 90% of the vicious and over the top comments come from the Republican side- Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Palin, Coulter, Boehner, McConnell, Cheney, Romney,Guiliani, and the list goes on. Honestly make a list of Democrats who truly meet this low standard.

    March 28, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Ken in NC

    My next door neighbor is a Republican and we were talking yesterday evening. He said since being laid off from his job of 13 years he had been watching the House and Senate on TV and twice he saw Republicans object to a unanimous consent that would have allowed for a 30 day extension to his unemployment benefits. This last time it was his own N. C. Republican Senator Burr that did it to him and that was the straw that broke his Republican back. He told me how he had to call his parents and apologize to them because they had angered him so much a few months ago when they switched from Republican to Democrat. He laughed at me and said "Father Knows Best". I listened to him and smiled. Told him how rough it was going to be when his friends found out. Said it didn't bother him.

    Republicans are bleeding all of their good moderates away. Keep up the good work Republican Party.

    March 28, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Dr.Virginia Lubell

    I've just attended a Coffee Party group. For those who don't know, The Coffee Party's mission statement is:
    The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.

    Imagine if Harry Reid had been supported by thousands of Coffee Party people with signs that read: Let's Be Civil. Or imagine others at the Tea Party meeting where Sarah Palin spoke.

    Let's be civil! Let's pass that on. Let's back the civility that we see and hear in our President.

    March 28, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. LG

    The chicken little rhetoric that the health care law is a total take over of the economy and the end of all freedoms is such extreme hyperbole.

    If health care is so evil, how come the other developed nations, including Switzerland, Germany, France, Japan, .... have done it for many years now without total collapse. Some even implement it with govt regulated private insurers without destroying either the nation or the businesses.

    Yes, the current law is far from perfect, but let's work to make it better instead of trying to "repeal and replace" which we all know means "repeal and do nothing".

    The Republican leadership has done nothing but try to scare people into believing that this law is the end of our nation through distortion of what the law does.

    March 28, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Scott, Tucson

    When the far left wacko liberal goons protest like this, their leader Pelosi tells us it's their patriotic rights to do so but when the shoe is on the other foot, oh how they whine like little babies.

    March 28, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. quarterback

    Had Democrats acted like this when Bush and President Cheney drove us off a cliff, we would be labeled traitors.

    Neocons are traitors. They tried to destroy our government. They can't govern when they hate the very institution they seek to run.

    Tea party want a revolution? We'll start by hanging you traitors.

    March 28, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Sniffit


    Give me one example of a republican getting rude messages etc?

    Don't get me wrong, I think they SHOULD. But they haven't.


    March 28, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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