October 17th, 2010
11:11 AM ET
4 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. Indie Woman in Denver

    That's the most misleading headline in this election season. What about Senator McConnell & Rep Boehner, leaders of the Party of No? They're being even more obstructionist than David Axelrod by far.

    October 17, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. vic nashville tn

    Last year we were worried about our future what we heard from republicans is NO republicans were thinking about 2010 and 2012 elections they didn’t care about us I won’t blame him

    October 17, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Either way it works out come November, GOP victory or not, don't expect much to get done. GOPers are still insisting that common sense fiscal responsibility is needed; less spending, more tax breaks. Gov. Pawlenty tried that here in Minnesota for 8 years. We have high unemployment, high foreclosures, and a $6 billion budget deficit. If GOPers fiscal responsibility hasn't worked for Minnesotans in general, I doubt it will work any better for our country as a whole. Pawlenty (along will so many other GOPers) hasn't been able to articulate why their programs have been such an abject failure, causing such misery to so very many. Apparently they don't care, one way or another. They just keep blabbering away, never addressing the issue. We get that you don't like President Obama, GOPers. What we don't get is what you are going to do to bring jobs back to America. Voting against taxing those companies that still continue to outsource our jobs to China and India (and God knows where else) as you all did this past month isn't sending a message of assurance that your party is the party to *get things done here in America*. Quit the contrary, actually.

    October 17, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Ancient Texan

    "extend our hand to the Republicans"......yeah right!!!!! The President starts every speech bashing the opposition, both present and past, and then saying he looks forward to bipartisan action on one of his Union Rewarding projects. Give me a break! Axlerods' reference to disclosure of source of funds for advertising is ridiculous considering the $400 Million spent by the Obama group in the 2008 election was not disclosed. We're still waiting.

    October 17, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Jon O

    My opinion on the tax cuts has everything to do with proof and nothing to do with partisanship.

    The tax cuts are part of a bigger culture of greed and non-investing in our country that, as proven by actual history, has only made it so that this country cannot keep up with its competitors.

    Bottom third among top 30 industrialized countries in: happiness, math skills, science skills,17th and falling on healthcare, yet we're the "richest" nation as far as individual wealth.

    Seems to me we have all the proof we need that more money isn't going to solve our problems – we need a change in our basic "me first" culture.

    You can toot your "no tax" horn, etc, all you want but the plain and simple truth – for those of us that actually care to hear it – is that over the last 30 years we have learned that trickle down economics is a myth, that giving rich people more money is not going to improve our society, and that our government does not have the interests of the regular citizen at heart...

    the numbers prove it, the quicker-than-the-US recovery of most EU nations proves it (through socialized programs to increase jobs and decrease unemployment), the consistent and unabated decline of our public education system, the laughing stock that our health care system is (the WHO organization rated the US as #1 in only one area – elective surgery – and in the teens in just about everything else)

    It is politics, it isn't parties, it's caring about the success of the nation and being willing to invest back into it and having the honesty and integrity to look at other, similar nations, who are advancing and improving at a rate we haven't seen in decades.... and understanding that they're doing something right.

    The greatness of America doesn't remain if America is no longer undeniably the greatest. That sounds redundant, but its not.

    October 17, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Bob

    If the Democrats don't stick to a higher tax for 250,000 and over and keep the cut for middle class they can FORGET even running because they are wasting their time. P.S. I am not a democrat.

    October 17, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. KatR

    Where is all this campaign cash coming from? Most citizens are scraping to get by. Many are still looking for a full time job.As such, the money must be coming from the wealthy section of our society. It's obvious to me that they are using their money to help elect candidates who believe an unregulated free market is better for the country than what We the People want. It would be much more patriotic to use their money to create jobs. Instead, with full bellies and a roof over their head, (thanks to TARP) they use the extra money to buy power. Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves.

    October 17, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. vic nashville tn

    Next 2 years do nothing

    Tea party and republicans can’t work together

    Republicans and democrats can’t work together

    White house can’t get done anything

    October 17, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. elidude

    "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."

    NOW STICK TO YOUR GUNS!

    October 17, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Ryan

    I agree with Mr.Axelrod about Mr. Rove, Mr. McConnell and Mr. Boehner. Therefore Mr. Rove is really mad that we have President Obama. He is the one to cause America divided. Mr. Rove should be charged if he did break a law. I hope DOJ will look into the Rove case. He deserves a jail time! Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell are 'NO' Leaders. They do not care about the people of the US. They care about their members and speical interests. The clueless leaders have no vision about the economy, budget balance, job creation and education. Their favorite is fight, fight and fight. Therefore Mr. Boehner will lose his relection in the election. And Mr. McConnell will step down. Mr. DeMint influences Mr. McConnell badly. My predict is that GOP Party will doomed. The people aren't stpuid. They will vote for the dems more. I will be happy to see Mr. Boehner loses in the election. Yes! Can't wait to see his reaction.

    October 17, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Stu

    I don't think the american public trusts the government to take any more money form them and use it the right way. You keep taxes and someones retirement goes up again. Fine some trustworthy politicians (if there is such a thing) then go ahead and tax me but till then...learn to live within your budget. Does anyone remember when lotteries first came into existance ???? They were suppose to solve all the education problems...more than enough money for school systems....what a joke...schools are worse off now and states make millions on lotteries.....theres no trust anymore

    October 17, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Americans are putting Republicans in a "cushy" spot, if you notice they don't have to give any specifics about anything because all they have to do is keep telling you what you already know. So that leaves them free to repeat the past and once they're in office, if you don't like it, too bad unless you're rich.

    October 17, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Hemisrt

    $250,000 is not a million (no support for millionaires and billionaires) in fact$250k a year isn't rich...

    October 17, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. BobInIrvine

    "Gary Bauer... targeting Democratic candidates in campaign ads, said he would not release the names of his donors because by law, he doesn't have to."
    Well, then I guess him and his ilk must shut up about an Islamic Center near ground zero because by law, they can build it.

    October 17, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Sam Sixpack

    Why to you take up for these liars? They stole 1/2 trillion dollars from your grandmother's Medicare and, yet, you still take up for them. You need the party of NO – because they have been, as much as possible, standing between your "leaders" (barf) and your money. Republicans don't want Democrats to get all your money – they want it for themselves. The only way you can be safe is by having a near 50-50 mix of these crooks – they will keep each other's hands out of your pocket.

    BTW poverty has now reached an all time high in the United States – with your Democrat heroes in charge of EVERYTHING.

    October 17, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. steven harnack

    These anonymous donors that are providing millions of dollars but are too ashamed to show their faces brings to mind an image of KKK night riders. There is no law that says that they have to show their faces either.

    October 17, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. lynn

    Crowley:

    When in the hell are you going to grill republicons like you do the Obama administration? You claim that the Dems are in power what in the hell are the republiicons doing then playing patty cake. If they don't have any power how in the hell are they able to stop every damn bill.

    Don't try to pretend to us that you don't know that the bluedogs are really republicons like you, Another damn thing,You and the rest of the media try to pretend as though the presdent has met with the your party during when he first took office, and many times afterwards. Who in the hell are you trying to fool those who weren't paying attention...

    October 17, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. bfranklin

    This guy is the biggest tool in Washington. His attitude and beleigerence is exactly why the Dems are struggling this election cycle. The attitude of "we know what's best for you. You can't handle making your own decisions." is why people are not supporting their policies and why there is so much anger in the country.

    October 17, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Sam Sixpack

    Bush COULD have lied about the WMD's in Iraq – on the other hand – maybe he really did get bad intel. Lets all hate him.

    Axelrod lies every time he opens his mouth – and yet you worship him.

    October 17, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. clark1b

    when the poor and middle class decide they want what the "rich" have and take it from the rich by taxing the rich at a higher rate .... they are committing at least two sins .... 1. coveting what others have and 2. stealing what they want

    on the other side of the coin ... the rich should be using the wealth that God has given them to help those that are less fortunate .... VOLUNTARILY ... and we should not force them if they don't.

    October 17, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Randy

    Clearly the Democrats don't like the Supreme Court decision, but the Supreme Court is one of the most revered institutions in the land. As citizens we don't like all their decisions and might have voted differently if we'd been on the court, BUT.... we respect it and move on.
    Democrats just can't move on past things they don't like, because they *don't* have respect for America's institutions. Just like they couldn't move on past the hanging chad, and for years kept calling Bush 'illegitimate'. Well good grief child, GET OVER IT!
    Why aren't they out there beating the bushes for their OWN anonymous corporate contributions? Or maybe they HAVE been trying... and they're finding that it's just not there for the Democrats- not this year anyway. So they're reduced to whining, which just leads to LESS support by the public. America doesn't like whiners.

    October 17, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. willard bullock

    Axelorod take keep careful word his mouth
    I know that he is mocked out of word his mouth

    October 17, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. lynn

    When in the hell are you going to grill republicons like you do the Obama administration? You claim that the Dems are in power what in the hell are the republiicons doing then playing patty cake. If they don't have any power how in the hell are they able to stop every damn bill.

    Don't try to pretend to us that you don't know that the bluedogs are really republicons like you, Another damn thing,You and the rest of the media try to pretend as though the presdent hasn't met with the your party when he first took office, and many times afterwards. Who in the hell are you trying to fool those who weren't paying attention...

    October 17, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Steve

    Candy Crowley . . . David Axelrod never gave one actual answer to our questions and you just let him filibuster and try to tell you how to do your job. Very sad to watch.

    October 17, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Russ

    god, Ryan, you are really a blind idiot, aren't you? At least TRY to make some sense in your post. News flash, the Republicans are winning and leading in most races leading up to this election. Yes! Can't wait to see YOUR reaction. LOL

    October 17, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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