Washington (CNN) - Top Obama advisor David Axelrod, who left the White House last week to lay the groundwork for the president's reelection campaign, is already needling a potential Republican rival.
In an interview with USA Today, Axelrod goes out of his way to credit Mitt Romney for implementing a universal health care plan when he was governor of Massachusetts that shares many similarities with the White House-backed law that has proved so unpopular with Republicans.
"We got some good ideas from him," said Axelrod in a clear effort to highlight Romney's involvement with implementing a law similar to that which is so disliked among Republicans nationwide.
Romney has stood by the 2006 implementation of universal health care in Massachusetts, but has said it was drafted to address Massachusetts's problems, no those of the entire nation.
As for the Republican field as a whole, Axelrod said it is the "most unfathomable… of my lifetime."
"I don't think anybody in the media or in either party can tell you with any degree of certainty who the Republican nominee will be," he said.