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. wishywashy

    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.
    -----------------------
    Kate, if indeed you were ever a democrat, you evidently were unable to understand or accept the inclusiveness which is the main theme of the democratic party. Unlike GOPers, who are generally known to vote lock step party lines, the demographics of the left can, and often does, spark differences within the party. Hence the 34 democratic NO's you mentioned. GOPers were anticipating the diversity within the democratic party couldn't get the votes needed. This is why the victory of HCR is so sweet. The democratic party actually DID stand together enough to get it the votes needed.

    Independents are more of a *gimme what I want* breed, never quite making up their minds as to what it is they REALLY want. I doubt, though, that the majority of Independents will ever vote entirely GOP.

    As you say, Independents are angry. They are also very fickle.

    March 28, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Kathleen

    Republicans seem to have a good life with no problems.

    My heros for today are Axelrod and Sestak-Senator from Pennsylvania who is having a Town Hall meeting in Penn. Today! Sestak a FORMER THREE STAR GENERAL has/had a child with brain cancer! And Axelrod has a "inflicted child".

    People that have "been there" care about human rights in this country!

    I am retired and on Medicare. I am not scared that I won't receive my benefits under Obama. I would be scared, if the Republicans got their way. They don't want ANY entitilements. I have listened and watched and listened an watched, and studied these Republican characters and let me tell you, THEY DON'T WANT ANY ENTITLEMENTS. JUST REMEMBER BUSH TRIED TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY! AND REPUBS VOTED TO DO JUST THAT! Those are the ones that need to go.!!! Personally, I want Health Care for my children and grandchildren!!!!

    March 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Kathleen

    TO sm!

    Your comment made me proud! Democrats are getting "FIRED UP!"
    God bless you and your family.

    From a retired citizen that is appalled by Tea Party tactics. And I have benefits and am not one little tiny bit "scared" that my health will be taken well care of. My children and grandchildren are who I worry about.

    Health Care for ALL is only fair. Americans should not die or worry over not being treated fairly. NEVER!

    March 28, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Overby

    I don't know how anybody can understand what Axelrod's talking about...he says "uh" somewhere around 15 times each sentence and it's impossible to follow what the heck he's talking about. He ought to be sent to speech class at the local Jr College or Toastmaster's until he learns how to talk in public.

    March 28, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. JonDie

    We have to choose: either we support law and decency and respect for humans and human rights...or we support the anarchy and terrorism for which the Republican Party stands.

    March 28, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. valwayne

    This shows just how corrupt the White House is. They stir up the crazies then use it to raise money. This White House is arrogant to the point of being dangerous!

    March 28, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    Fear should not be used as a basis for fund-raising.The difference is that the fear the Dems are using is based on actual events and not based on someone's misguided theories abut the President's agenda.

    March 28, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. D

    As I recall, AIG execs and their familes received death threats last year... our president spewed his rhetoric, Barney Frank demanded their names and protesters were bussed to their homes, thanks to some union. Eyes wide open. Denial and double standards.

    March 28, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Actually what Axelrod is saying is in keeping with the Democrat party platform "It's never your fault. You are never responsible for your own actions. Some body else made you do it." So, of course the people commiting these acts of violence aren't responsible, it must be the Republicans. I guess they couldn't figure out a way to say "It's Bush's fault."

    March 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7