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. Old White Virginia Female

    I believe the Coffee Party has hit on a concept which is very important and all of American that is considered moderate or leaning in either direction really needs to consider using this "movement" to become their voice. We tend in this country to listen to the squeaky wheel, and right now the far right seems to be squeaking the loudest. If you feel like the far right is gaining too much sway because their voice is so loud, whether their numbers match the volume or not, our government needs to know we are out here and we want to be represented, too. I believe right now when you have people like Palin screaming "we have to take back our country," those of us who are in the middle had better stand up and demand to be heard or we are going to let this extremely conservative rhetoric carry the day. I encourage all of us to at least take a look at the Coffee Party and see if we could not use it as a mechanism to apply pressure to government to counteract these extremes that are rearing their head and squeaking the loudest at the moment. Axelrod and Democratic organizations who intend to fight them for seats in the upcoming elections is another alternative, but definitely I do not believe this is the right time to be passive and hope reason prevails.

    March 28, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Enitan

    If you voted for Goerge Bush in 2000 and 2004, you do not have any Rights whatsoever to talk about this President, i am still not a fan of his, Hillary would have been this independent will choose, but i beleived in calling a spade a spade, Obama Did not create the mess this country is in, Your Republican George Bush, his Republican senators and representatives did.

    If you have any formal education and a God given brain to think for yourself and not what your Republican Ignorant Bigots tells you to think or eat and are well informed, you should be able to see that.

    There was NO Weapon of Mass destruction where thousands and thousands if not Millions of lives have been lost and where all the money we should have been used to create jobs for the American people went.

    So don't say anything about this new Presisent otherwise, you are as ignorant, stupid and a Bigot like most of your Republican leaders. Lets see how long has McCain been in the Senate?? McConnell from Kenturky and the hosts of other ones.

    Think for yourself outside the box or go back to school to get formal education the old fashion way in class not on online, then you will be able to have some brain to think for yourself

    Dont blame him. He was just sworn in Jan. 2009. The damage was laready done b/4 he even raised his hands up for the searing in.

    I am a registered independent that can think for myself. Democrats have there faults too as it relates to some of the welfare programs, so i call a spade a spade on that issues too.

    March 28, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. SpringGambit

    Hey, GOPers, I understand your anger. In hindsight it must be hard to accept that while you all gleefully praised Bush for his two wars, tax cuts to the wealthy, and subsidies for the big phamaceutical companies, none of you ever bothered to question the expense of who would utimately pay for Bush's *pay later* spending spree.

    Unfortunately for all of us, now that the tab came has come due, rather than accept your duplication, you blame the democrats and direct your anger at them, making it even more difficult to climb over the dung heap leftover from your party.

    Hope blaming others makes you all sleep better at night.

    March 28, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    That's pure BS.

    The Dems are trying to run the country like dictators, and when the people rebel, then they try to accuse the GOP, of being behind the rebellion.

    Wake up Dems. The people see what you are doing, and they aren't going to go quietly, into dictatorship.

    March 28, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. nanbar

    Thank you Dr. Lubbell. I to have joined the Coffee Party Movement. Political discourse is a wonderful thing. What is happening in the Republican party is not. We had too many serious issues in this country to have one party basically not wanting to do anything. Our health care system has been a mess for decades. Is it a perfect bill, no. The GOP could have made it better. Doing nothing is no longer an option.

    March 28, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Chuck in Jasper Georgia

    Hey Skinner, don't look now but oxygen is not real either. It does not exist because you have not seen it nor heard it. It does not exist because Glenn Beck has not said it does. It does not exist because Rush Limburger has not said it does. You really are out of touch with reality aren't you?

    March 28, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Pat F

    Wow, quarterback, you must be on the Oxford debate team – such rhetorical skill! I guess it isn't an act after all.

    March 28, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Northwest USA

    They raise hell about all things that benefit other people but they sure covered Bush /Cheney starting a war with lies then filling their pockets for 8 years of running the country in debt and in the ditch but we never heard a negative peep out of them but just wait till the rest of the country has health insurance and watch them lie,raise hell,spread hate, teaparty .
    Then be so half a$$ minded to be against birth control and at 18 years send these same people off to an unjust war to be injured / killed and these hell raisers don't blink an eye.
    Vote the party of NO out that is the answer.

    March 28, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. jp,michigan

    When the republicans were the majority and Bush was President , the democrats were nasty individuals. Its ludicrous to have a special fund raising to benefit the democrats who are the subjects now of such nastiness. When the American people are backed in to a corner by the back door deals and ignores as to their wished by individuals they placed in office, there will be some things said in response to the treatment they recieved.

    March 28, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. quarterback

    Pat F,

    I refuse to get into intellectual duels with the unarmed.

    Don't care who you are, that's funny right there.

    And I was a Rhodes finalist.

    March 28, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Nancy, NY

    This guy is not an elected official so news media must keep him away. We do not need his lect5ures.

    March 28, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Watching

    I think its time for the Democrats to take a look at some of there own rhetoric and take responsibility for the "cause & effect" of that. They also need to get rid of the superiority complex and the habit of making false accusations.

    March 28, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Rush Limbaugh sponsors violence

    I get a great laugh at the Neocon losers daily.

    March 28, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Scott, Tucson

    As more and more Americans join the Tea Party movement, the only ones that would be left out by their own choice will be the America hating, racist, left wing liberals.

    March 28, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. D.

    The first to get threats this time around was Stupak by liberal democrats, once this worked well for the left, from then on the slippery slope of threats started by all sides. The polarizing angry men in the WH that only know Chicago streets politics and have anger accumulated over many years (60's radicals) is frightening (much more than a bunch of powerless angry people with tea bags that they are pointing at). They know how to divide and thus are good at campaigning and very very bad at governing.

    March 28, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Sniffit

    Pat F your lack of debate skills continue on every post.

    All you can do is demean others huh. Where are your facts?

    March 28, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. NVa Native

    Tea-baggers – the "I got mine, screw you!" klan.

    March 28, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Scott

    Repeal and replace the Republican Party!
    Democrats Care!
    Republicans Don't!

    March 28, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Watching

    NVa Native – Try "I earned mine – you earn yours"

    March 28, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Grace

    Whine, whine, whine. You don't think there have been threats of violence and racial slurs hurled at Republicans before and that only Democrats are victims of these things? It's because we know whose side the news media is on. They will make a big deal if it's against Democrats, but will turn a blind eye (like the Democratic Congress always does) when it's against the Republicans. Just look at CNN's coverage of healthcare. 99% is favorable coverage like the headline today about the favorable effects healthcare reform will have. You don't think there are negative aspects to this bill (such as the reform will lead to a shortage of doctors and quality of care being rationed) because most of the news media will not report negative comments if they do not conform to the left ideology. Hypocrites.

    March 28, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. quarterback

    Scott in Tucson,

    Get out of the sun. Your brain is fried.

    Less than 20% of the population believes in these douche baggers.

    You going to recruit the other 80%? See, not everyone else is stupid. They won't vote against their own best interests. Unless you got $5 million in assets, to vote Republican is against your best interests.

    Even 25% of the population believes in UFOs. So you don't even have that much support.

    March 28, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. zanny

    Why is it not okay for the Democrats and is okay for the Republicans who started the whole thing. John McCain-R- says send him money because he is going to repeal health acre(better chance of winning the lottery), Attorney Genera of Virginial, looking forward to next gubanatorial election, is asking for money for his Suprene Court challenge, which by the way is based on a law that was passed after the Health care reform. "Baby Killer" asking for money to continue his antics. Joe "You lie" Wilson asked for money based on his totally inexcusable disrespect. Mic Romney asked for between $5 and $5,000 to repeal a health care bill almost exactly like the one he created for the citizens of Massachusets. I cannot believe that anyone honestly even asked that question. If they did and are not working for Fox, they should be. Irresponsible journalism!!!!! Actually the media has been the biggest promoter of ignorant behavior by giving air time to those who display plain ignorant behavior – Boener, the jerk that just stopped unemployment for many, McCain, Palin, etc.etv.etc.

    March 28, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. zanny

    John King, I think there is an opening at Fox for you. I stopped watching you the day that you sat there with a grin on your face and watched that Cheney girl totally disrespect Donna Brazile but not allowing her to make any type of statement because she constantly talked over every thing she had to say. "Entertainers" like you need to go to Fox with the other jerks because what you do is irrespoinsible journalism!!!!

    March 28, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. LoveThyNeighbor

    I have GOPers' burrowing in my yard and tearing up my gardens. Can ANYONE tell me how to GET RID OF THEM!? PLEASE HELP!...Sam

    March 28, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Democrats have the right to fund raise for Democrats anywhere and anytime. Republicans are wasting their time and their parties time with their petty none sense complaints that don't amount to squat.

    March 28, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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