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. NVa Native

    To all the Fox Followers and hate radio ditto-heads, the signs of Obama as a socialsist or Nazi are all yours. Dems didn't do it, maybe a few fringe did, but the Repub party is now all out fringe. And the rest of the country who are not neo-con loyalists (73%) know it.
    Repubs always whine and cry when the other groups use the same tactics the premoted to the new "norm". So of course the Dems should do exactly what the Repubs set as the political norm, ignore the other party or any opinions that don't mirror theirs.
    So now you now reap what you sow – keep on crying and whining – it only proves the point that you all are anti-democracy, anti-American, and you are all "cute little kitty kats".

    March 28, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Pete in San Francisco

    God wants us to treat our neighbors as ourselves. Be good and moral people and treat everyone with dignity and respect. Recognize that we all have different points of view and do not follow blindly those who say they know what you should believe. Be compassionate.

    March 28, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Todd

    Just a uick look at the RNC wensite says it all. Speaker Pelosi engulfed in flames.
    Or palin with gun sights on Democratis congresspersons.
    Or tea bag blogs urging throwing bricks through congres persons windows, which hapened.
    Or a crowd or biggoted tea bagger yelling nijjer at congressmen, several of whom marched with Dr. King 45 years ago, spitting on them and threatening the. Then that very same crowd being egged on by republicon leaders in congress.

    Culpabitiy is not hard to establish. The issue in the upcoming election is do you want vigilante mob violence to rule the nation, or do you prefer law abiding adults working hard to fix the problems that the aformentioned vigilante mobs created in he first place?

    March 28, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Charles W. Skinner

    How about the fact that for several of what the Democrat members claim happened, there is ACTUAL PROOF that what they claim DID NOT happen.

    There was no "spitting" on a Representative (there's video of him SHOUTING at the Rep, but he did not spit). There is CONTINUOUS video of the parade of lawmakers on their way to vote.

    There was no gay slur shouted at Rep. Frank, nor any racial slur shouted at Rep. Clyburn. Not ONE video or audio recording has surfaced, while the ENTIRE parade was being recorded by Democrat activists just HOPING for something to happen.

    The nasty messages left on Rep. Stupak's messaging service for the most part were left BEFORE he agreed to support health care, by DEMOCRATS who were unhappy that he was refusing to support it.

    There has been some limited window breakage at Representative offices, which is inappropriate, and should be condemned. That being said, you want violence, look at the fact that the REPUBLICAN leadership office is the one that was getting SHOT AT. That should speak volumes about which party's activists are actually violent.

    March 28, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Bill

    Axelrod is a frigging idiot, just another obama lackey.

    March 28, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Sniffit

    News flash to the vocal MINORITY you Goppers are:
    57-43 Obama approval.

    YOU LOSE

    March 28, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Sniffit

    Is it opposite day in your world Skinner?

    March 28, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Pat F

    @quarterback, you can't REALLY be as completely stupid as your post makes you sound – it must be an act. Democrats spent eight solid years hectoring, insulting, belittling, badgering, lying and giving aid and comfort to the enemy when George W. Bush was president.

    On the fundraising story, how HYPOCRITICAL can the Democrats be, really? After 9/11, when the Republicans released a picture of the President on Air Force One that day as a fundraising shot, you Democrats had a field day saying that he was using this national tragedy for political fundraising gain. OK, fair enough. But how, exactly is this different? The only difference I can see is that probably most of the so-called threats are just Democratic plants to make the Democrats look brave, whereas 9/11 actually happened.

    March 28, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Dinah

    To Charles W. Skinner: YOU LIE!

    March 28, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. LoveThyNeighbor

    I really like the idea of the Coffee party. Work for the better of mankind, NOT go backwards with hate. Makes sense to me. I will probably not join the Coffee party, BUT, I know I WILL NOT join any other parties that use hate and incites acts of violence. Civil is utilized BY adults. Unrest and violence is what kids do...Sam

    March 28, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Todd

    cantor was as honest as he was at the Health Care summit. Turns out it was not even his office, and no one was shooting at it, just sruck by a stray bullet shot up in the air coming down. No doubt some armed tea bagger firing off a few rounds and yelpin yee haw. republicons are playing with fire. Will they cheer when another inspried by the rhetoric they are spouting flys a plane int another federal building? Will they cheer when another tim mcviegh kills hundreds of innocents? Thos acts were perpetrated by people espousing the ideology of the extreme right which the gop is currently actively promoting and endorsing. Thank God we have law enforcment and anti-terrorism statutes to deal with these loonies.

    March 28, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Sniffit

    Pat F, that is the worst attempt at debate I've ever seen. At least no one can accuse you of cut-n-pasting talking points.

    March 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. MikeH

    And meanwhile Sarah Palin is inciting violence and CNN is enabling her.

    Start carrying arms Democrats, show the Tea Klux Klan Party and their leader witch you will use deadly force to defend America and constitutional democracy.

    March 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Terry from West Texas

    dan smith wrote: "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. ..."

    Along the same lines, Dan, I have read that it was Jews who piloted those planes into the World Trade Center to make the Muslims look bad. Also, it was Franklin Roosevelt who had American planed bomb Pearl Harbor to force America into a war with the peace-loving Japanese.

    Worst of all, it was Liberal Democrats who voted to George Bush Jr. They wanted to elect someone who would make Conservatives look bad. Dick Cheney was in on the Conspiracy. He's been posing as a Conservative all his life, just waiting for an opportunity like this.

    You need to get back on your meds, Dan.

    March 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. MikeH

    Charles W. Skinner, you are a liar.

    March 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. quarterback

    Pat F

    Deluded, idiots be ye. (Ye is antiquated for You.)

    Keep listening to Crush Limpballs and Groin Beck.

    We got your number and it is a very low IQ.

    Keep whining sheeple. GOP = Grey Old Pr^cks.

    Have a nice Fascist day.

    March 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Terry - Indiana

    I thought there was a law that you cannot yell "FIRE" in a movie theater. Sarah Palin, and the Republican Leadership in both the House and Senate, are preaching violence with their rhetorical speeches. This is not about Healthcare, or the War in Iraq, this is about the fact that the Republicans cannot stop President Obama from delivering on campaign promises, which means the Republicans have again lost. Recently, I asked a friend, who was preaching gun violence in the streets to stop the Democrats, how he voted in the last election. He responded that he did not vote because McCain and Palin were wrong for America. So, I asked why he would listen to these hate filled speeches if he did not care for the McCain-Palin Ticket, and he said, it is all about Obama. I now realize that the Republicans are not arguing for a different approach, they are arguing to bring our country into a civil war.

    March 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. annie s

    Not out of line at all. The Democrats who voted for health care reform are HEROES that were threatened by wingnuts and Sarah Palin (oh wait, Sarah IS a wingnut). With the Republicans clearly fanning the flames of hate, this was a valid fundraising tool.

    March 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. save my state.

    Let's see in the last decade ther were pictures of George Bush as a Nazi. There were dummies made up to look like George Bush being burnt. There were even threats made against George Bush, and Congress. so far it looks like someone in the tea party swiped the Democrat's playbook.

    March 28, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. NVa Native

    Dr. Luebell, well said.
    But I think many have been "quietly" supporting civility, it is foreign to some of us to speak out , or carry signs, or basically confront the preachers of un-civil actions or desprespectful public displays of hatred and intolerance.
    You are right – we all need to let the radicals of our society know we are not going sit back and let them ruin our government or our society. I'm going to reach out to these Coffee people.

    March 28, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Sam

    Do you remember when your parents asked: why can't you just get along?". Right, Left.....choose a side....fight among yourselves...plays well with others.....
    Can you all just stop yelling so loudly at each other that you actually say things that make sense?
    Conservative.....apparently means that you don't agree with everything someone else says.

    Where is this moderate website mentioned that actually tells what is in the 3000 page health care bill? Where is the definition of health care bill? Student loans? What has that to do with health care.

    Is this email convoluted and confusing enough to be understood?

    March 28, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Big John

    It's pretty obvious the republicans really hate Americans and all those who don't share their views. They're the party of hate and vile spurred on by the likes of Sarah the quitter, Rush, Beck and Oreilly and the others on Fixed news. The Democratic party cares for all Americans regardless of their views. Any party leader who encourages them to "Re-load" is clearly promoting violence. These idiots take them at their word and we have cases like the doctor being killed. Intelligent Americans will vote out these morons.

    March 28, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. pt

    This has happened for years – threats and profits on preceived threats. The only real differences are the extreme degrees of media bias and the lack of presence and moral standing of the president and other officials.
    Come on CNN, give us real reporting – not just he said this so it must be true. I hear ten-year olds tell stories with more depth.

    March 28, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Chuck in Jasper Georgia

    LG, I agree 100%. The tactics employed by republicans and their conservative base, are at the least deplorable. Republican and Conservative leadership sat back and laughed while all the lies and misdirection was being put out there. Illegal aliens given free medical care, death panels for Grandma, socialist take-over, communist take-over, big-government, Obama is not a citizen, etc. etc. etc. They did not care that most of the opposition to Health Care reform was based on lies and deceit. They only cared that people remain opposed and incited. Now we have the very real possibility of some whacko doing something stupid, based on lies none of the republican or conservative leadership had the decency to refute and put down so that the rreal issues in this bill could be addressed to make it better. They did not want to co-operate then and they certainly will not co-operate now. They only obstruct.

    March 28, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Anonymous

    If the other side is going to do stupid things, such as inciting unstable, easily angered people to make threats, then they should expect an increase in democratic support, money and otherwise, from reasonable people.

    March 28, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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