Axelrod vs. Romney
October 12th, 2011
03:35 PM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod vs. Romney

(CNN) – Senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod issued his own rebuttal to Tuesday's Republican presidential debate labeling frontrunner Mitt Romney a political flip flopper who deserves skepticism from the American electorate.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, the first of its kind in the 2012 election cycle, Axelrod stopped short of labeling Romney the presumptive nominee, but spent most of his time pointing to what he sees as inconsistencies in the former Massachusetts governor's record.

"It is a pattern time and time and time again and you heard it again last night," Axelrod said. "It's consistent with a guy who ran for the governorship of Massachusetts and for the Senate in Massachusetts as a pro-choice moderate who supported civil unions and supported environmental protections … to the guy you see today who is hard after the tea party vote and thrown all of his positions over."

Axelrod, who left the White House earlier this year to work on the president's re-election effort, took aim at what he said are shifting stances from Romney over the payroll tax credit and health care reform.

Romney has repeatedly said his stances have evolved over time to reflect policy gradations.

But Axelrod said the changes are similar to the "leaps" he has made throughout his career to fit his imminent political needs, leaps that should be worrisome to the voters both sides are courting.

"The question of trust is important particularly for the middle class," Axelrod said. "They want to know that where the president was yesterday is where he'll be today and where he'll be tomorrow," Axelrod said. "It's hardly the case when you're all over the lot as Gov. Romney was last night, has been throughout this campaign, has in fact been throughout his career."

Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom said the Obama administration is trying to shift the discussion away from the current economy, which he equated to the Great Depression.

"What we're getting from this administration in response to the tanking economy are deflections and diversions from what really matters, which is President Obama's failure to create jobs," Fehrnstrom said. "The only question is whether we can make it to the election of 2012 before Obama takes us all the way back to 1929."

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Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. jim

    Mr. Axelrod, why we have your attention could you tell us why Obama voted 'present' so many times?

    October 12, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Ed DFWTX

    Romney is a political flip flopper. He was for Obamacare before there was an Obamacare. Mitts GOP has obstructed every single effort put forth to RESTORE our economy, create jobs, or help the PEOPLE destroyed by Wall St banks. Republicans are bought and paid for by the very banks who brought down our nation, the very corporations who sent our jobs overseas..Republicans have betrayed the PEOPLE at every turn.

    October 12, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    The question of trust is important particularly for the middle class," Axelrod said. "They want to know that where the president was yesterday is where he'll be today and where he'll be tomorrow,"
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Is Axelrod trying to HELP Obama?!?! Not with statements like this. Voters are worried that Obama has learned nothing from the failed strategies he has used over the 2 1/2 years. Based on the "Jobs" bill he just put out there that even the Democratic Senate couldn't pass, he will continue down the path that has driven unemployment to over 9% and American debt past $14 trillion. No thanks, really. We have seen enough.

    October 12, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. christine

    "question of trust", on the other who says I and majority of americans sstill trust Obama and Axelrod? I tried to believe in this guys but they deeds and results of misgovernment made me distrust this current administration and all of its CZARs - solynda, fast and furious, unemployment, GE bailout, etc...

    October 12, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Tea baggers sending message loud and clear they won’t vote for Mitt Romney I don’t know why Axelord focusing on Mitt Romney

    October 12, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Rani McBride

    This is such BS! I watched Romney on the debates last night and I am wondering if he really thinks American's are buying his garbage. Blaming the Obama administration for American's not having jobs. Has he been in a hole the last 10 years! Do these people really believe that people will forget what he came into and the fact Republicans have fought and defeated any policy that would begin to relieve the economy. They really don't want him to succeed and they have said so. Just like Cain, saying his comments of "if your not rich, blame yourself" was directed to the protesters on Wall Street, not the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs. Who the hell does he think the protesters are?!!!! These people are unbelievable. The only one that said anything that made any sense at all was Ron Paul who actually admitted blaming this all on the last 2 years is idiotic. He himself admitted it is from many years of failed policy. Wake up!

    October 12, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Dave

    What a joke! The man he works for has flip flopped himself when you get right down to it. Guess it takes one to know one then.

    October 12, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    ""What we're getting from this administration in response to the tanking economy are deflections and diversions from what really matters, which is President Obama's failure to create jobs," "

    Yawn. What the administration is getting from GOPers/Teatrolls is a refusal to pass or even debate ANYTHING that has a remote chance of creating a single job.

    Besides...it's disingenuous for the GOP/Teatrolls to claim that gov't doesn't create jobs and then blame Obama for not creating them....esepcially while industry is reporting record profits all throughout the recession and sitting on more capital than ever in the history of the country.

    October 12, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Colorodan

    Take us back to 1929? Romney's party almost did that already. It was Obama that rescued us from the half million jobs a month we were losing when the Republicans held the office. We have now had 20 consecutive months of private sector job growth and 8 consecutive quarters of economic expansion. Despite Republicans efforts to drag things out by stonewalling everything until the next election.

    October 12, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    Sniffit
    ...it's disingenuous for the GOP/Teatrolls to claim that gov't doesn't create jobs and then blame Obama for not creating them....esepcially while industry is reporting record profits all throughout the recession and sitting on more capital than ever in the history of the country.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Obama's mistake was to spend $850 billion on a "Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs..." bill, saying it would create or save 4 million jobs and 2 years later unemployment is over 3% higher. You might say that was one expensive lesson, but here he tried to do the same thing with another $450 billion more! Even the Democratic Senate wasn't buying that. Some of them must be coming up for reelection.

    October 12, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Sue

    I guess that Mr. Axelrod should take a look at the polls...........

    In all state/national polls--–Romney either beats or ties with Obama.

    And, the majority of Independents-–who will decide the 2012 election--–have made it clear that they will support/vote for Romney over Obama.

    Unemployment is not going to go down before the election-–and we will not see a miraculous recovery in the economy.

    If Romney becomes the GOP nominee--–Obama WILL be sent back to Chicago in 2012!!

    October 12, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. NYC REPUB

    Obama 2012!!!

    October 12, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Brian

    @4 and the door, The bill had majority votes in the senate! The Dems just didn't ram it through like you are so used to the Repubs doing.

    October 12, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    jim
    Mr. Axelrod, why we have your attention could you tell us why Obama voted 'present' so many times?

    October 12, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm
    **********************************************************************************************************************************

    While I have your attention, can you ask the same thing of Michelle Bachmann in this election cycle? Your post is hypocritical and overwrought. Relevancy to the article might be something to consider on your next post? Have a nice day, d-bag.

    October 12, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @ Sue,

    What polls? Care to cite some? Typical GOTP post: spew Fox Noise talking points and back them up with facts never.

    October 12, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The 1 percenters are counting on all the politicians they own in DC to keep caring for the greedy and not the needy.

    October 12, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Nancy

    It's one thing to flip-flop repeatedly (which Romney certainly does) and another to give out false info like Romney did last night. Romney said Obamacare would cost a trillion dollars and no one called him on it. I didn't think that sounded right. But after the debate, the fact checkers said that not only was that way off, but over the 10 years it would end up saving a large amount of money. Facts need to matter!

    October 12, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Obama's mistake was to spend $850 billion on a "Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs..." bill, saying it would create or save 4 million jobs and 2 years later unemployment is over 3% higher."

    The only mistake there was of a political nature. Consensus among economists is that the Stimulus package worked, but not quite as well as hoped, creating or preventing the loss of a total of approximately 2 million jobs, give or take depending on the study. Models show that, altho unemployment topped out at approximately 10% at the worst of it, it would have topped out near 13% or 14% had it not been for the Stimulus. You acn ignore and dismiss and fail to accept that all you want...I personally don't give a rat's pink patoot whether you think you know the economy better than the majority of expert economists, because we all knwo you don't. The only reason there were mistakes involved is because (a) Obama should've shoved it in the GOP's face that they didn't really give him what he wanted and prevented the Stimulus package from being as big as most economists said it needed to be in order to have the effect we were hoping for and (b) he instead pretended it was enough and would do what we hoped it would do, when the reality is we knew it wouldn't. The GOP got their way on that score...it's much harder for a POTUS to claim credit for simply preventing things from getting too much worse as opposed to actually turning them around. That was the GOP's intent in shrinking the Stimulus in the first place, if not to simply kill its effectiveness outright.

    "You might say that was one expensive lesson, but here he tried to do the same thing with another $450 billion more!"

    That's $450B more that should have been part of the first Stimulus but was prevented by the GOP, who is hoping to prevent and hamper any economic recovery so our suffering can be their leverage in the blame game in 2012. Tax incentives for hiring work to create jobs. Tax cuts for the wealthy do not. Payroll tax cuts and a whole slew of other emasures in the AJA are necessary and proven to be useful tools for stabilizing and sometimes sufficiently stimulating the economy to give it the kickstart that it needs. It's almost all of it things that GOPers have voted for in the past and alot of it that they have proposed from their side of the aisle in the past, but the reality is, the GOP sees it as "just a year away" and believes that it can force everyone in the country to hold out until November 2012 for anything to be done at all to stimuluate the economy. Then, they hope, they will take control in 2013, enact all sorts of deregulation and tax cuts that unfairly favor the wealthy and completely eviscerate the societal safety net to create an economy full of third-world indentured servant employees totally and utterly beholden to their employers' whims in terms of failing for another several decades to increase middle-class wages and the slow and steady attenuation of the health care and retirement benefits offered.

    October 12, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Facts need to matter!"

    I'm sorry, but you're going to have to acecpt that in our post-journalism modern world, advertising revenue is the new arbiter of truth...not the universe.

    October 12, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    I can't wait to see Willard's face WHEN Perry is the appointed one.

    October 12, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |