July 11th, 2010
10:48 AM ET
4 years ago

Axelrod responds to criticism from the WH's left flank

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod spoke Sunday about November's midterm elections and touched on discontent among liberals, the president's relationship with Capitol Hill Republicans, and the president's standing with independent voters.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod spoke Sunday about November's midterm elections and touched on discontent among liberals, the president's relationship with Capitol Hill Republicans, and the president's standing with independent voters.

Washington (CNN) - With less than four months until this year's midterm Election Day, the Obama administration is defending its record in response to criticism from liberals and progressives who are increasingly saying the president has not been aggressive enough in pursuing their preferred agenda.

"My admonition would be: Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good," Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union in an effort to speak directly to the president's liberal critics. "We've achieved more in these two years - in terms of advancing a solid progressive agenda for this country that will help working families and make this a better, more balanced economy - than anyone has done, you know, in our generation."

As evidence of Obama's movement on liberals' preferred agenda items, Axelrod mentioned comprehensive reform to the nation's health care system that would extend coverage to more of the uninsured and improve care for those with insurance.

"We've been talking about that for a hundred years," Axelrod told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Barack Obama got it done," he said. "We've been talking about financial reform for a long time. We've got the deepest reform since the Great Depression."

The senior Obama aide also mentioned the administration's move to boost fuel efficiency standards and the president's desire to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays and lesbians serving in the U.S. military. "That policy is going to be changed," declared Axelrod.

Axelrod continued, "And I can go through a long list of things that have languished for years and decades and generations that this president got done in the midst of a very difficult time."

While he defended the president's record to liberals, Axelrod also sought to fault Republicans for a lack of cooperation with Obama, who campaigned on the idea of changing the tone in Washington.

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Filed under: 2010 • David Axelrod • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. USN

    "a better more balanced economy"? Does that mean make everyone poor except the politacal elite?

    July 11, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. ifyouseenkay

    nation's health care system that would extend coverage to more of the uninsured and improve care for those with insurance. "We've been talking about that for a hundred years,

    that's 'cause my great great great grandkids will be paying for that "free" health care!!!

    July 11, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Gop

    It is so funny how Liberals are so frightened of the term Liberal they start using the word
    Progressive. What Obama is pushing forward is a far left Socialist agenda!

    Obama is not moving our country forward but backward to what would be the Middle Ages! He is redistributing our countries wealth so we all will be equally Poor!

    To think he has done so much to destroy our country in such little time we better not give him 4 more years are things will be far worst and will never get fixed.

    By the way, can he stop blaming every one for these problems and take some responsibility for his own self.

    Obama loves to take credit for bills that his party writes and passes but don’t want to take the blame when the bills are not read and poorly written and cost far more then what is told to the American public!

    July 11, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Dave

    Obama's bipartisanship means: Dems will do it alone unless they cannot! This is NOT bipartisanship!

    July 11, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Ben

    Discernment – What exactly is Obama's "historic" accomplishment?

    Record deficits? 10% unemployment? A "stimulus" that failed to stimulate anything? The worst healthcare bill ever created that means higher costs and less choice?

    The only "historic" thing about Odumbo's presidency is just how bad it is. Get a clue.

    July 11, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. H.D.MCNAMARA

    “STATES RIGHTS” should be preserved and not be infringed upon by anyone or anything such as our Government. Our Government will use your States money to fight another State which in turn will empower our Government even more. Do You really want for our Government to control your State, if you think it’s your State HAS Rights, THEN SUPPORT ARIZON’S RIGHTS WHILE YOU CAN, “NOT” AFTER WHEN IT IS TOO LATE. THINK ABOUT IT NOW!

    July 11, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. william ryals

    I have to ask why nobody seems willing to discuss the one solution to jobs that might work. We need to require retaileres to purchase a percentage of their goods fro resale in the form of goods manufactured in this country particularly in certain categories. This is the only way we can restore the manufacturing base in this country. Can't someone at least ask the socalled experts why this can't be done?

    July 11, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. chris

    The American people are like a guy who breaks both his legs on a Sunday, then complains he's not tap-dancing on Tuesday. Less than two years ago, we were on the verge of a complete economic collapse. To continue the medical analogy, not only were the guy's legs broken, he was in the critical condition with little chance to live unless drastic surgery was performed.

    You can't recover from a crisis that terrible in just months, or even years. So now that the worst is behind is, and the patient is going to live – what happens? Instead of being angry at the reckless driver who smashed us into the tree (Bush) , we're getting mad at the sugreon who is trying help, just because he's telling us it will still take several more months of therapy before we can walk again.

    July 11, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. jboh

    Just remember what Bush/Cheney left. TARP was a Bush bailout/going away present to the bankers who crashed the economy with crazy schemes that were illegal before GOP "leadership?". Oh yeah, don't blame Bush, even though his policies are largely still in effect(no finance reform yet). Constant obstruction, filibuster everything. I saw the chart of Fed agencies involved in oil cleanup, and wonder how many key decision making posts on the chart are as yet unfilled because of GOP secret(cowardly) holds. Some reasons for these holds are Shelby R Alabama, throwing a tantrum because a USA company got a contract over a foreign comp. with plants in his state. The GOP/TEA party will tank tyhe whole USA the way they tanked the middle class, in order to satisfy their addiction to power to abuse.
    Vote repugnant in Nov, and see a new great depression.

    July 11, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. B in FL

    I just hope that liberals and progressives remember who got us into the messes we're in and, even though they don't think Obama is moving quickly enough, or things are getting watered down, or they don't think he's fulfilling all of his promises, that putting the Repubs back in surely won't be the answer. Everything takes time and at least he's making steps towards progression. PLEASE, LET'S NOT GO BACKWARDS!!

    July 11, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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