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. Joanna in PA

    Of course its acceptable to raise money in light of the violence and bullies these neo cons are doing. It so anti American it makes makes stomach ill. Yes, we have freedom of speech but we are not free to intimate. The GOP has No body to blame but themselves for this behavior. The GOP only accepts government when they have control. They are totally irresponsible. Why in the world would any one in there right mind want to identify with them? The have NO ideas just fear and hate mongering. The GOP happily raises money on fake manufactured BS, while this violence is a real issue. STOP THE MADNESS!

    March 28, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. jojomcgee

    I am still waiting for the Obamists to address the fact that Bill Ayers, a man who proudly bombed our capitol building, still is a close spiritual and political advisor to The One. TALK ABOUT VIOLENCE. Mr. Obama is at his core a violent man.

    March 28, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Fitz in Texas

    Pat F...... 'quarterback' still has his head buried in the sand with the rest of the weary kool-aid drinkers.

    March 28, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. kate

    What did the dems think would happen when they passed this partisan bill?
    34 democrats voted against it! Hello?
    This administration has been the most polarizing presidency in the history of this country.
    Started with the primary against Hillary and has continued with this healthcare bill as an example.

    November can't come soon enough,
    There is a silent majority in this country, they are angry, they don't respond to CNN polls or news stories such as this.
    They don't buy the hope and change mantra anymore, and they don't by this trumped up charge of hate by the dems.
    Talk about desperate measures.

    As a former democrat:
    I predict a record turn out and Axelrod is kidding himself if he thinks they will be on the Dems. side.

    The majority in this country did not want this bill passed.
    They are independents and they are not represented by the current administration.

    March 28, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. jojomcgee

    The fact that The One invited Bill Ayers to the inauguration and seated him in a very prominent place is instructive. It was telling the American people that if they do not fall into line behind the Obamist agenda you will be threatened with violence. Violence initiated from the White House against the American people.

    Mr. Obama MUST denounce Bill Ayers in a very public way, Perhaps a prime time broadcast from the Oval Office. Short of that Mr. Obama is doing nothing but endorsing the type of violence that he imagines in the non Obamists of this country.

    March 28, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Dave

    They sure didn't make a big deal about threats when Stupak was receiving them while he was still against the bill. They demonstrate their hypocricy everyday, and never seem to be ashamed of themselves.

    March 28, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Joe Stubben

    This is a blurring of the main point, that violent rhetoric is out of bounds in our politics. There has been far, far more rhetoric on the right whipping people's emotions up than on the left. Cantor's attempts to sidetrack the issue was debunked by police reports that the bullet was a fluke shot up in the air. Republicans have used distortions and outright lies for fund raising for many years now. So let's cut the bull. The Right is trying everything that they can top derail any progress, at the public's expense. They need to condemn violence along with Democratic leaders. Does anyone really believe they are wanting to stop this?

    March 28, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. SpringGambit

    This administration has been the most polarizing presidency in the history of this country
    -----------------------
    Good try, Kate . . . It's the HELL NO's, you see? Repeating them day after day kinda, well, backfired.

    Keep patting yourself on the back, though.

    March 28, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Gpenn

    jojomcgee March 28th, 2010 12:32 pm ET

    I am still waiting for the Obamists to address the fact that Bill Ayers, a man who proudly bombed our capitol building, still is a close spiritual and political advisor to The One. TALK ABOUT VIOLENCE. Mr. Obama is at his core a violent man
    ------------------------------
    He is not a close spiritual advisor. Please stop spreading internet rumor and propaganda. It is an outright lie and you know it.

    March 28, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Larry

    As I read the comments, I can understand how the Democratic party is dead and is being replaced by the Progressive party. Hopefully not, but the next step would be the Marxism Party.

    March 28, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. jojomcgee

    To Joe Stubben – The person at the top of the violence food chain is Mr. Obama himself. Can you say "William Ayers". So get off this false idea that the GOP and the right are some how responsbile for inciting violence. Mr. Obama's friends have actually set off bombs, killed police, and violently threatened citizens. Something the patriots in this country have never done.

    March 28, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. XtfrM

    Scott, Tuscon – "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."

    This is why the tea-baggers won't acheive a majority voice, ever. If you're not on board with them, you must be an "America hating, racist..." etc.

    March 28, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Gpenn

    I think part of the problem is these comments sections themselves. The major networks throw them up not to allow people to be heard, but to gain website hits. These forums accomplish nothing. No one who reads them is going to change their minds on anything. The only thing they seem to accomplish is getting people more and more angry.

    March 28, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. SpringGambit

    jojomcgee: How refreshing that you base you comments of facts. Please share so the rest of us can be a well informed as you.

    March 28, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. mfhpr

    it's almost comedic to read the posts of some of the REPs that think they're smart when they call obama a terrorist and violent. are you awake and hearing yourselves, idiots? this whole kool-ade concept is so hypocritical. it's more like kook-ade. the kooks on the right want you to believe that the only way to get along or ahead in life is to threaten others into fearing something that doesn't exist. truly. the kooks on the right were your parents that taught you to be prejudice and fear-mongerers.

    listen to yourselves, people. you're so convinced that obama is BAD that you're making laughing stocks of yourselves. open your minds and see reality. it's the bushes and cheneys of the world that are the violent ones that have to have war to feel good about themselves. oh, and they make millions, perhaps billions, on your ignorance. and if you believe palin is the answer, you're dumber than you know. she's an opportunist that knows nothing about U.S. politics, let alone international affairs.

    WAKE UP, dummies!!! you hypocrites call people baby-killers for being pro-choice when you have no problem starting a war that has killed thousands of our own people and thousands of innocent others. a war that had no place in our history. you'll never get it since you were raised to be stupid and close-minded.

    March 28, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. bts

    Democrats most certainly should fund-raise, do billboards, TV ads etc. and CONSTANTLY remind the American public WHO is behind all the fear mongering and lying and hypocrisy and obstruction and violence permeating throughout the political climate ever since the PEOPLE'S ELECTED President took office. People need to be reminded everyday all the way to mid-term elections and beyond ! Obama is just trying to do his job, and Republicans are making it their job to STOP him. But when they stop him, they are hurting US. And now they want to repeal HCR and take back the medical help promised to so many desperate people.... including children and babies. This is BEYOND sick and wrong.

    March 28, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Joe Stubben

    Good point Jo-Jo even if that was decades ago.

    March 28, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. sm

    God is not please when people use fear, he is not please when you used greed in away that would bring harm to his people. The Republican use these things and call themselves Chirstian. When you hear the Republican and the tea party said I want the Country back. I WANT TO SAID THIS IS MY COUNTRY TOO. This Health Care Law is for the good of all Gods people no matter if you are black, white, red or purple or wealther you are a Democratic or Republican. this is for our country. The republicans need to stop putting fear on the front burner or they will get burn. God brought down the Economy because of Greed and people who lie and cheated the system will pay for it. The Republicans are steal made because We have Elected The Frist Black President and they couldn't do a DAM thing about it. They think that A White man was the only person who could run this Country and they found out they were wrong. This is why God don't like what he is seeing and he had chosen President Obama for a reason and they are going against hime beacuse of that our Country will pay the price because of FEAR AND HATE USING THE TEA PARTY AS THE WEAPON. A LONG WITH BECK, LIMBAUGH, AND PALIN. The Republican Party better be careful for what they are asking for when they lie about their goal. That is to bring down our President Barack Obama. As long as I am an American I will not let this happen. I going to keep on talk to people who I disagree with and peopl who I agreed with to get the message out about what this HEALTH CARE REFORMED means to the MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY. I am a foot soldier who is knocking on doors to let the people know about this new law. When the Republican didn't want to comparmise on HEALTH CARE
    REFORMED BECAUSE IT WAS GOING TO BE PRESIDENT OBAMA WATERLOU. THAT IS GOING TO COME BACK AND BITE THEM WHE N THEY LEAST EXPECTED. I CALL OUT TO ALL MY DEMOCRATIC friends are you FIRED UP make call go out and help our president sell this LAW. I am FIRED UP! FIRED UP! FIRED UP!

    March 28, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. AB

    Do you remember the "commemorative" 9/11 photos of Bush on air force one? They were sold to fundraise. That I found egregious.
    This is merely a stand against violence. If the Dems want to get support against hostile actions towards them that is perfectly within bounds. They aren't selling something that is commemorative of somebody else's loss.

    March 28, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. adamwallenta

    The Republicans are AMAZING. Only they can do something (like endorse racist tea baggers and their hate spewing violent tendencies) and then blame the Democrats. Wow. Amazing.

    Look at the hateful rhetoric the Repubs have been spewing since the campaign, inciting that Obama pals around with terrorists and is a socialist. They have been bordering the line since day 1. They use hateful, violent language and then claim ignorance.

    Such raging hypocrites.

    March 28, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. CHIPS

    Don't worry Dems. The Reps will need this health care more then anybody to test their mental state of mind.

    March 28, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. mfhpr

    please keep god and religion out of it. that's the republican mantra and course.

    March 28, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. joe smith

    now, if the Democrats want to keep as many seats in the House/Senate in their hands; they might want to revisit the college loan payback system..those now who are most impacted by job loss, are the very same college educated wokers trying to pay back college loans..this government has the cart before the horse. free up that burden, forgive the loans to these workers, and the money will end up in the economy, as purchases, taxes, etc..sort of a behind the back stimulus..got to love it..

    March 28, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. whitettrash

    GOP=Grumpy Old Phonies.They love to incite anger & fear to their weak-minded,& often uneducated base.They like to keep their base dumbed down, as it is easier to manipulate the fearful weak. I have been silent too long. I do not need coffee or tea to make sure my voice is heard in November.

    March 28, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. nadeem

    Republican party just gets smaller and smaller

    March 28, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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