February 23rd, 2012
04:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod on GOP candidates: 'All hat, no cattle'

(CNN) - David Axelrod, senior strategist for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, responded Thursday to GOP attacks against the president from the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate and described the candidates as "all hat, no cattle."

"It seemed like such a negative grinding affair, going after each other, going after the president and certainly going after the country," Axelrod said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "That was a dispiriting thing to watch."

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made one of the strongest digs against Obama in Wednesday night's debate when he said the president was making unprecedented attacks against religious freedoms.

Hitting back, Axelrod said Romney's remarks was a "preposterous statement" and pointed to the administration's recent "compromise" on the contraception coverage controversy.

"The fact is that Mitt Romney has proven he is willing to say whatever he thinks he needs to say to close the deal with these Republican primary voters," Axelrod said, repeating a line he's used throughout the race.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, meanwhile, argued during the debate that Obama was "afraid to stand up to Iran" and previously opposed sanctions against the country for developing its suspected nuclear weapons program.

But Axelrod countered saying the president has "brought the world along in the most withering set of sanctions against any country" and pushed the Iranian economy into "disarray."

"This notion that somehow the president hasn't stood up to Iran stands in contrast to what Iran is saying and what is obvious from the facts," Axelrod said, adding that none of the candidates suggested they would do anything differently than what the president is doing right now.

"You know we got a lot of this–what do they say down South? All hat and no cattle?" Axelrod said.

In the debate, Gingrich reiterated a line he's used throughout the week, calling Obama the "most dangerous president" on national security grounds in history.

To that, Axelrod said, "I'm sure Osama bin Laden would like to offer a rebuttal to that, if he could. All the leadership of Al Qaeda, two-thirds of which have been destroyed, would probably offer a different testimony to that."

Also see:

Five things we learned from Wednesday's debate

Detroit Free Press endorses Romney

Candidates enter critical phase after possible final debate

Obama to talk energy and gas prices at Miami speech

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. diridi

    Republicans = All skull no brain=Idiots=their supporters are paid idiots=not for middle class. God bless.

    February 23, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    I love the Axe!

    February 23, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. diridi

    Watch on youtube, when mitt romney came to town....enjoy....you know all about this looter.

    February 23, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. obama victim

    Axelrod is just about as sleazy as they get

    February 23, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    More like "all cup, no junk."

    February 23, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. knowndoyen

    Well it looks like Obama has a real wiener in Axelrod. What a joke. All weak come backs but when you have a weak leader like Obama the people that support him are weak. All hat and no cattle is better than all debt and no hope Obama.

    February 23, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. A Texan

    More like all hot air and no gray cells upstairs!

    February 23, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Emmy Skaddittle

    he is the most dangerous president to the national security of Iran

    February 23, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. king

    These repubs are threatening Iran leaving them no choice but to give OPEC and the wall street speculators to drive up oil prices. The president need to call a meeting with OPEC and these speculators, telling them to bring all their graphs and justification, in front of the American people to justify their raping the American people. Last time they tried this demand crap, one oil spilled a hundred worth of crude into the gulf. If its not demand problems why are these folks are driving up oil prices on hard working American people. This president is producing more oil more tha ever in this country so that takes the repubs talking lies that this president is not producing oil

    February 23, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Nothing new here

    I have never had much fondness for the spending Democratic Party....
    But I just have no choice but to start voting for more Democrats, Independents and Libertarians.
    I just cannot stand by the Republican Party anymore.
    If Ron Paul does not win the nomination, then I will be voting for Obama.

    February 23, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. ST

    What a nice say from the South; " All hat and no cattle" Are they cowboys? And if there were cattle, they would not know where to direct them to go.

    February 23, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. GreenCollarWorker

    Thanks to these clownish Republican candidates, Axelrod probably has the easiest job in politics.

    February 23, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Abe

    I think no one was a winner in tonight's debate because they were all attacking each other and especially the president which I thought will be their demise given the fact they attacked him from all sides.

    February 23, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    obama victim
    Axelrod is just about as sleazy as they get
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    Certainly there must be sleazier people around. I just can't think of one right now.

    February 23, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    Anything's better than the Obama dictator.

    February 23, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Jake

    I agree! For Newt Gingrich to stand before the American people and say that President Obama is the most dangerous President we have ever had? and to stir fear (classic GOP) that he has made us less safe and that one of our American cities will be blown up under this President? Reprehensible!

    February 23, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Texas Doc

    No hat either I'm afraid. GOP is finished. Thanks guys.

    February 23, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    "Certainly there must be sleazier people around. I just can't think of one right now."

    Karl Rove. Gee, that was easy!

    February 23, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. diridi

    GOP = full of thugs.
    PS: Nationalize all Oil-Companies.

    February 23, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Nancy

    Perfectly said. I get the feeling that even as a kid, Axelrod was never anybody's fool.

    February 23, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. The Elephant In The Room

    Honestly, can you imagine that any of thes GOP yahoos would have succesfully led the liberation of Libya and the demise of Moammar Kadhafi with ZERO American loss of life and as COST EFFECIENTLY as President Obama?

    Can you imagine any of them having the brains & STONES to order the Seal raid to both beutralize bin laden AND collect a TREASURE TROVE of intelligence data that has allowed the US to eliminate al Quedas TOP 10 leaders?

    Can you imagine any of these GOP clowns getting BP on the hook for a MINIMUM of $20B to clean up the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon well ruptured?

    Romney, Paul, Gingrich & Santorum are ALL HAT & no cattle [so was Perry, Cain, Trump, palin, Bachmann, Pawlenty].

    I honestly thought if you took the best from each of them & gave it to a GOP Dr. Frankenstien, he could build a better President from the parts than the man we have in the Whitehouse today!

    February 23, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. AnotherGDlefty

    Anonymous, you beat me by a few minutes.... Karl Rove, the KING of sleaze politics.

    If only the dopes in the GOTP listened to Rove they wouldn't be in the mess they are today so hooray for the TEAS and $arah Paylin and Glenn Beck for destroying what was left of my dads political party.

    Now Karl, try and put the TEA genie back in the bottle...or hit the gym...your call.

    February 23, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    Newt is playing Santorum like a fiddle. Newt says something very inaccurate, Santorum doesn't do his own fact check and repeats what Newt says. This guy Santorum is no different than Sarah Palin, just a gossip machine and too lazy to get his own facts.

    February 23, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  24. tickedoff

    Alexrod said that high cost of gas would be offset by the income tax credit, but what about those who are on fiixed incomes after working for 40 years, how does that offset our gas prices? I'm a grandmother and guardian of two special needs children that must see doctors from 40 to 80 miles away (one way), this week I have spent over $120.00 on gas to get to appointments. Where is my offset? You need to get real

    February 23, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Voice of Reason

    For once, Axlerod is right. Watching these bigoted goons fall over each other in their 'race to the bottom' – trying to out-do each other in nastiness... To hear them tell it, the country is circling the drain and liable to revert to 3rd-world status any minute now.

    Wont they be embarrased if the world doesnt end when Obama gets re-elected in November ?

    February 23, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
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