October 17th, 2010
11:11 AM ET
8 years ago

Axelrod won't budge

(CNN) - Even though Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod contends that Republicans will win seats in the November elections, he still wasn't willing to budge Sunday on bipartisanship or extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts.

"It's up to us to extend our hand (to Republicans) as we have before," Axelrod told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union." "It's up to them to decide whether they're going to take it or whether they're going to do what they've done for the last 2 years."

On tax cuts, Axelrod wouldn't say if there was wiggle room in the White House stand that only individuals making up to $200,000 and families earning up to $250,0000 a year should have the lower tax rates enacted in 2001 and 2003 extended.

The policy would mean that the 2 percent of the population earning more would have their tax rates on amounts above the $200,000-$250,000 threshold increase to levels from the 1990s.

"We don't think tax cuts for the middle class should be held hostage for tax cuts for the wealthy," Axelrod said. When asked if that position was up for negotiation Axelrod said, "You heard my position."

Axelrod also continued the White House's line of attack on outside groups that are contributing record amounts of cash to candidates in this election cycle, but aren't legally required to disclose where the money is coming from.

"This is about the economy because if an interest group can give millions of dollars to Karl Rove secretly and he can run ads, negative ads against Democratic candidates across the country... they're going to have a tremendous influence over the future," Axelrod said.

He also said the money that Rove, a key GOP strategist during the George W. Bush administration, plans to spend in the final two weeks leading up to the November 2 elections will be more than Democrats plan to spend in the entire cycle, something Axelrod called "fundamentally wrong."

Axelrod mentioned Rove at least 5 times during the interview and said it was Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, that were holding up reform on the campaign spending issue.

"He (McConnell) wants unfettered ability to tap these special interests to support his candidates," Axelrod said. "You should direct your questions to McConnell."

Gary Bauer, the chairman of the Campaign for Working Families that is targeting Democratic candidates in campaign ads, said he would not release the names of his donors because by law, he doesn't have to.

"I don't write the laws and I don't make the court decisions," Bauer said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Randy

    "We don't think tax cuts for the middle class should be held hostage for tax cuts for the wealthy," Axelrod said. When asked if that position was up for negotiation Axelrod said, "You heard my position."

    The problem is, the "temporary" tax cuts have been ingrained into the expectations of the public. It *is* the tax rate now. Calling it a possible "extension of the tax cut" is a nuance only understood in Washington legalese. To the American public, if nothing is done, it's a tax INCREASE.
    Politicians would do well to understand that, and start talking about it that way. If we are going to increase taxes, do we increase them for everybody or ONLY for those above $250K in income? That makes the rate tables even more progressive (meaning NOT flat) than they are today, penalizing success in America.
    I'm for Americans paying 20 cents tax for every dollar they make, with NO loopholes and a WHOLE lot less deductions and credits than are out there today. That's a fair share for everybody. Come to think of it, it could be 10 cents for every dollar if the federal government were the size it *should* be.

    October 17, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Brandon

    Wait, how many times were Bush's tax cuts labeled: "Bush's tax cuts for the rich" by the dems?

    Are they finally admitting the fact that Bush cut taxes for everyone?

    October 17, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. max

    Republi Cants

    October 17, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. mstinamotorcity

    Ms.Crowley has shown that she advocates for peole in an income bracket such as herself. Just how does she stimulate the economy with the salary she makes. Tell her to look at her savings and assets. She is Conservative and it shows. I'm totally disappointed. A good Broadcast Jounalist should be able to give the facts wiithout adlibbing for one political point of view. Hers.Everyone knows the Bush Tax cuts don't pay for themselves or creat jobs. If the top 2% were job creators,Where are all the jobs?They systemactically outsourced the jobs,now they are uncertain ? I'm certain that this can only be the biggest lie told to the people. Why should we advocate for the top 2% to have anything when they have had ten years of record salaries,profits,and bonuses.And we had less jobs. No I don't think so.

    October 17, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. jpmichigan

    The Obama gang would not openly note the persons who donated to the Obama presidential campaign, so what is good for the goose is also good for the dander. Axelrod and the rest of Obama's motley crew forget they are no longer just in the Illinois , they now are big time and need to adjust their ways to suit all the people not the few in Illinois, Chicago politics have no place with all the American people. Hard ball, backstabbing , divide and conquer, along with pay to play doesn't work.

    October 17, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    He is correct but he left something out. When they don't accept, pass the bills anyway. That is what the Democrats did wrong this pst two years.
    We voted for change , we got wimps. If they wan't to know why all the apathy from Democrats this year- look no further than the perception of how they handled their power.
    I'm still voting for them- but they only get the first four years to do what thye ran on in 2008

    October 17, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Edward

    If Bush tax cuts didn't help in the first place to create jobs, why keep them?! I like this lady but her drilling this over and over irritates me. She must make more that 250,000 a year or getting some money from them.

    October 17, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. mdyer

    Well, all of our taxes will go up next year because they couldn't get it together. Who had the power to fix this and who is trying to shift the blame now? Our Nobel prize president is squirming in his hot seat. They think they can play us for fools with another shell game.

    October 17, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. John CT

    Oh my. What a load Axelrod is giving CNN. They know they wasted close to a trillion dollars (stimulus) and want to play a bait and switch on every company large and small with the amount of taxes they are going to pay. First we will give you a $1000 to hire someone one but raise your taxes by $3000 per employee on the other hand with healthcare, financial reform and that is before we raise it more with cap and trade. We will increase investment taxes and hope you expand your companies without any hope of profit. Don't worry you can write off losses, but the govt. would like to close that loophole also. When your company fails the govt. will take it over and setup a proxy leadership and pretend it is a private company. We want all the fatcats on Wall Street to suffer, but Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with the problem as those companies are our friends and currently owned by the govt. When the populus no longer believes our statements find someone against us and make unsubstantiated claims of illegality and don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain (George Soros).

    October 17, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Oakton Tommy

    Axelrod is a socialist. This is not name calling, just an accurate label for the economic policies that he advocates. He found a perfect stalking horse in Barack Obama. Now his plans are bumping into the fact that 3/4 of Americans favor capitalism.

    October 17, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Scott2010

    I think everyone deserves a tax break, but not while our national debt is out of control and the country is broke. Until we have a handle on our debt, I believe all tax cuts should be done away with. Tax cuts will only put the country further in debt. This hole is deep enough already.

    October 17, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Steve in Oregon

    I agree with Warren Buffet who said, "Tax people like me, not the person who served me lunch today." I own a business, and my wife and I fall into the 280k gross income bracket. People need to understand that the tax on the table here is not a corporate tax, but a tax on my personal salary.

    This tax will have zero impact on my hiring plans. For me and my wife, well, we might have to cancel one of our vacations, but I doubt even that.

    October 17, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. ANDREW

    What is the point of tax cuts when we are already in debt to china.We need to pay that off as quickly as possiable so they dont own us !

    October 17, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. King

    The people that creat demand in this country is under attack by the repugs and the ultra right wing bagger sect. You cant creat jobs fools without demand. You cant creat demand if you cut government jobs and programs. Who will support the local economy by creating demand and jobs. Repugs want to try the trikle down system with more tax break money to uhe rich. That dont work in a global economy fool. There are a billions people waiting for that trikle down stuff. Bush tried it for 10 years and it brought one of the worst economy man have ever seen. All it does is out source job over seas depleiting government revenue and leaving mainstreet to fend for themselve because of little demand power. The rich still lining their pockets with trillions. Tax them obama and take the trillions off the sideline and into the economy and creat demand and jobs.

    October 17, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Dean

    If the government is going to be our employer under Obama we need to do away with all tax cuts so we have enough money to pay ourselves a salary.

    October 17, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Billy/Bob117

    Just more lies from the mouths of Obama lackies----they lie so much that they believe it has become the truth---He of course failed to mention that a growing number of dems in congress are for keeping the tax code where it currently is-–
    Remember it is always the left that want to punish those who are successful--–

    October 17, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. johnrj08

    I see this as Obama's biggest mistake during his first two years in office. The very first issue he should have tackled with all the political capital he had early in his administration, is campaign finance reform. Corporate and special interest money has corrupted our entire political process. Candidates can't get elected unless they can compete with heavy campaign spending, so they go where the money is. The pharmaceutical industry, Wall Street, Big Oil, and the health insurance industry are holding Congress hostage. Even good candidates who want to serve the country selflessly are drawn into the web of campaign finance. As far as I'm concerned, the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision has turned a terrible situation into a national emergency. Obama should have dealt with this in the first 3 months of his administration, BEFORE he tried to take on health insurance or Wall Street reform. If he had, everything that followed might have gone a lot better than it did.

    October 17, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Tubby the Tuba

    If the news keeps telling people that the Democrats are done long enough, maybe everyone will start to believe them. The news is just trying to manipulate the vote. It is a good Repuglican paper. I guess It will be the Dems turn to "Just Say NO!" I don't think my retirement account can take another Repuglican ran government. How about you? I lost about $40,000.00 while the Repuglicans were in the White House. Go ahead and vote the Repugs in and commit financial undoing.

    October 17, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Arvind

    how about massive tax cuts for everybody no matter what pay scale we are at? instead cut the theft of money that is eventually sent to the bank accounts of jack murtha's nephew, nancy pelosi's husband, al gore's investment firm, bush-clinton charity, union bosses and other crooks?

    October 17, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. thoughtdog

    I'm very glad to see Mr. Axelrod take the stand! The Republicans are not going to join in on the recovery of this country until it lines the pockets of big money interests.
    Big Money interests do not have anything in common to the future of this country, the people in it or anything else, other than big money with the ability to line someones pockets.
    Say what you will, when you will.......The truth is obvious from the last almost two years now....
    The Republicans say that the Democrats have been in power since 2007, but when they started out as a lame duck, they met the same resistance as the democrats in majority today.
    GOP The party of obstructionists!

    October 17, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Average American

    The tax increase will cause a second dip recession or a full blown Depression! It's the democRATS call.....

    October 17, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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