Axelrod to the media: The president is strong
September 16th, 2011
12:16 PM ET
7 years ago

Axelrod to the media: The president is strong

(CNN) – David Axelrod, President Barack Obama's senior campaign strategist, pushed back against negative media accounts surrounding the president's approval rating and said recent polling shows the majority of Americans agree with Obama's plan to create jobs.

In a memo to members of the media, Axelrod said news accounts of the polls have failed to put the figures into context, which he said includes the impact of the financial crisis as well as low approval numbers of Republicans and Congress. He also cited the figures as an example of the president's support among his base.

"Despite what you hear in elite commentary, the President's support among base voters and in key demographic groups has stayed strong," Axelrod wrote.

When asked if the line from Axelrod was directed at specific criticism, a campaign aide said it was a reference to the media, opinion columnists and pundits.

A recent piece by Democratic strategist James Carville, published on, said the White House should be in panic mode following the elections in New York and Nevada, in which Republicans were victorious.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday showed Obama with a disapproval rating of 55 percent, the highest of his presidency, mirroring other national polling from Gallup and NBC/Wall Street Journal.

Conservatives across the country have capitalized on Obama's low national and state-wide approval numbers, largely blaming him for the ongoing economic crisis.

The president is in the process of selling his long-term plan to reduce the deficit and national debt, as well as his jobs plan, to the American people and Congress.

The memo from Axelrod, who left the White House earlier this year to focus on the president's reelect bid, said Obama and the White House will remain focused on jobs and the economy, while Republican presidential candidates are "busy courting the Tea Party."

"The Republicans have yet to choose a nominee, and therefore, most Americans have yet to learn much about their records or visions for the country," Axelrod wrote. "When Americans learn the details of the Republican candidates' plans, the choice about America's future will come into clear view."

Ultimately, Axelrod said the 2012 election will be decided in swing states, like North Carolina and Nevada, where the president polls ahead of the GOP White House hopefuls.

"Ultimately it is in those battleground states where voters will choose, 14 months from now, between the two candidates, their records, and their visions for the country," Axelrod wrote.

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • President Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I have to say that it somewhat concerning that there are rumbles of problems for Obama. It is easier to laugh at the Republican candidates. Only Huntsman is the one that has some sanity there. Perry and Bachmann are the most loony with Paul not too far behind.

    September 16, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Jack in Florida

    Obama needs to grow a pair and stand up for himself and his tired of the Republican nonsense and no replies from the Dems.

    September 16, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Axelrod to the media: The president is strong"

    Me to Axelrod: Doesn't all that spinning make you dizzy?

    September 16, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Obama has 2 chances to get re-elected – slim and none. And slim just left.

    September 16, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Axelrod is a paid liar. He was paid to lie to this country to get Obama elected and he continues to lie to the American people. But the Smerican people have witnessed first hand the disaster named Obama. Totally clueless on the economy and no leadership skills at all. But the Dems will continues their stream of lies to try and con the country once again. Thank God the polls show they are failing.

    September 16, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Yesterday Quinnipiac University Poll

    “Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the presidential choice of Virginia Republicans 25 – 19 percent,”

    “Obama has 44 percent to Perry's 42 percent”,

    “Romney gets 44 percent to Obama's 42 percent”

    Romney leads Obama but Perry leads Romney but Obama leads Perry

    So Obama will win but yesterday media headlines about this poll were pathetic

    September 16, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    It's about time someone set the record straight. Our president most likely will be reelected because there is not even one sane republican running. Huntsman is nothing more than a pretty box with a big red bow wrapped around him. He's a very weak candidate who would be crushed against the opposition. Overall, the republicans have nothing to offer and the American people are starting to see that more and more each day. I will cast my vote for the person who is at least TRYING to help the American people and right now that man is President Barack Obama.

    September 16, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Len

    If independents and progressives do not vote for President Obama, the middle class and poor will be left behind. Proof: the 2010 elections should prove to you what the GOP and Tea Party will do....look at the states that elected GOP jobs, no money....GOP promised jobs, we have jobs bill presented by the GOP...just the same, cut taxes for the rich (our job creators), cut taxes for big business, oil tax subsidies (6 billion dollars) and more....Wake up America...

    September 16, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Heck, you have to be strong just to not go screaming crazy with how Republicans have obstructed every attempt to lift the economy.

    Some people keep repeating that President Obama focused on Health Care first, and ignored the economy. That is flat out false. The first thing he did was bailout the auto companies. The next thing he did was to pass the ARRA, the stimulus. We stopped shedding 700,000 jobs per month, and *THEN* he turned his attention to health care reform because as he put it. Health care costs play a large part in our personal expenses and national debt, which slows jobs growth and the economy as a whole. "The cost of health care is too high."

    The ACA is designed to drive the cost of health care down over the long term by slowing down how fast it rises. The cost difference comes straight out of the profits of health insurance executive's annual bonuses. That's why they dislike and are fighting so hard to get the entire law thrown off the books, not just the part about personal mandates.

    September 16, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. R

    From the link to the poll released on Tuesday:
    "The survey reveals that 55 percent say they do not approve of how Obama is handling his duties in the White House and the number of Americans who think he is a strong leader has dropped to a new low."

    I guess Axelrod didn't get to that part...

    Then again, the use of polls as news is pretty useless overall, as the results of polls change as often as the wind.

    September 16, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Jerry

    I guess this fool of a butt kisser (Axle Rod) has overindulged at the NObama spiked Kool Aid fountain.

    Just like the president, he must be clueless as well as delusional.

    Stay tuned.

    September 16, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Aaron

    Even for those of us who voted for him, it's hard to support him. He caves in to Repubs time after time. He won't use the powers that are available to him to get an agenda to help the average American gets through rough times.

    September 16, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    @jackinflorida, I agree with you 100% these polls don't ask the right questions. Yes, I am not super happy with his caving in to the teapublikans but they want him to fail and are doing everything they can tto make it happen.
    The silver lining is that there is NOT one single restate running who has anything to offer! These clowns will take away not just more of our money but our civil and personal rights. I'll stick with Obama, thank you

    September 16, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Orchid333

    If the current GOP contenders is all they've got, I see another landslide victory for Obama. The only chance the Republicans have is by electing someone in the middle, like Huntsman or Paul... then I think we'd see a good contest.

    September 16, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. silvertop

    I'm perplexed how it is said that GOP is for the rich and Obama and democrats are for the middle class. How is it that Prez Obama can garner dinner fundraisers at $35,000 per couple? Most of us can certainly not afford it, us middle class hardworking professionals. Doesn't he give something they want by way of Executive influence?

    September 16, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. ChumBucket

    New York 9th

    'nuff said.

    September 16, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Larry L

    The President has been the only adult in the room during the past two and one half years. He is now taking heat for wanting to compromise and I understand people's frustration – since the Republicans do nothing but pander to the rich. He has a tough job supporting his own gutless Democrats and fighting the Republicans/American Taliban.

    September 16, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Rickster

    "Axelrod to the media: The president is strong"
    lol....good one. Oh wait,.....he's serious?? Obama has become a total joke and he's dragging the entire democrat party into the same category.

    September 16, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. A Repulbican

    Polls are polls, when it comes down to "do you like the republican/tea party agenda," people will run to obama. I really believe this election wont even be close, and I'm a republican. Watch and see. Once it get's down to a two man race, obama's skills will set the stage and make the other choice appear risky, which it will be. I'm so sad, but always a realist.

    September 16, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. silvertop

    half a billion of tax payer money goes down the drain in the administration's indiscriminate push to showcase green subsidy. Google Solyndra. :Lives are lost in incompetence of AFT's "Fast and Furious" gunrunners project. Rocket grenade launcher found by the Rio Grande while the president and Janet Napolitano keep saying that our border is secure and safe as ever. DOJ is raiding Gibson guitar for using a certain kind of wood, going after job creators instead of border criminals. Google them all. Current administration is not doing a good job.

    September 16, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Atlanta Independent Voters

    I am a independent voter and I am going to vote for president Obama he is better then them teabaggars/republican clowns.

    Independent voters for Biden/Obama 2012

    September 16, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. chill

    Yes we are generally in favor of what the President says he wants to do. If he actually sticks to his guns and stops uniltaterlly giving away the store to the Tea Party, then we might even become enthusiastic again. He has to restore his credibility before he can use public pressure to sway Congress.

    September 16, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Martha in CF

    I agree with Axelrod. The news media can get way out of line on reporting a story just to get the attention to it. Why aren't you interviewing fellow Democrats on their viewpoints. We already know what the Republicans know and it is NO, No Way, No How. Come on Dems--lets get tough on those Redumblicans..........

    September 16, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Seriously people... Look at the picture of Axelrod. He even looks like a sleazy used car shyster. I can't believe people in this country would believe ANYTHING that comes out of his mouth, especially after all the lies in 2008. This clown should be doing hard time.

    September 16, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    What solutions for the economy have been offered by Republicans since President Obama swore the oath of office? Besides make Obama a one-termer, I don't remember any. Do you?

    How many times have Republicans lamented about President Obama not offering any budget or plan of any kind? I lost count because I cannot listen to all of them talking non-stop at once. They have been filibustering the public with doom and gloom, but no solutions for the middle class.

    Why has the economy seen a down turn now that Republicans control the House, which means the purse strings? Why has the economy seen a down turn now that most governers are now Republican?

    September 16, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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