Axelrod: Romney is ‘looking in a funhouse mirror’
March 18th, 2012
02:38 PM ET
6 years ago

Axelrod: Romney is ‘looking in a funhouse mirror’

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's senior campaign strategist, David Axelrod, on Sunday hit back against Mitt Romney’s recent line in which the Republican presidential frontrunner calls himself an “economic heavyweight.”

“If (Romney) thinks he's an economic heavyweight, he must be looking in a funhouse mirror,” Axelrod said on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

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Romney uses the label to draw a contrast with his main Republican rival, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, as well as Obama, whom the former Massachusetts governor hopes to face in the November presidential election.

At recent campaign events, Romney has taken to calling both Obama and Santorum "economic lightweights.”

“We’re not going to be successful in replacing an economic lightweight if we nominate an economic lightweight,” Romney said Friday in Illinois. “And I’m an economic heavyweight. I know how this economy works.”

Axelrod took issue with Romney’s characterization Sunday, claiming Romney’s record as governor proves he’s no master of the economy.

“I do watch him parading around the state, calling himself an ‘economic heavyweight.’ And it's the same pitch that he made in 2002 to the people in Massachusetts,” Axelrod said, repeating an often-used line among Democrats that while Romney served as governor, the Bay State ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation.

Appearing on the same program after Axelrod’s interview, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wasted no time taking a jab at Axelrod’s comment.

“I think David's living in a permanent funhouse mirror myself,” Priebus said.

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Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Irma in North Carolina

    Tell it the way it is David.

    March 18, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. gt

    oh really.... wow 4.00 gallon gas..9 % prices in the can... so obama is the one that has led america back...please...

    March 18, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. hamsta

    if obama thinks he can blame speculators and wall street for high gas prices after declaring that energy prices will necessarily skyrocket installing chu as head of department of energy jackson as head of enviromental protection agency all three with same goal he is looking in the funhouse mirror....or SMOKING CRACK!!!

    March 18, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mitt Romney did not create the Bush/republican near depression, but his economic policies and war with Iraq will take us back there.

    March 18, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. lisa2010

    how can Romney call himself and economic heavyweight, when he couldn't fix his own state as governor...Rank47th out of 50 in an economic downfall, and he expects to take on 50 STATES... I foresee that if he does become president, the next election, which a democrat will be elected, will be cleaning up after THIS REPUBLICAN'S MESS, LIKE OBAMA IS TRYING TO DO WITH BUSH'S MESS!!! Obama/Biden 2012!!!

    March 18, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Marry

    If Mitt Romney would have been elected in 2008 (in some mysterious way) he would have run right out of the WH again after understanding what incredible mess the last REPUBLICAN president left the country in and the next president to cope with! Mitt Romney is a spoiled rich guy with no concern for people only for making more money for his rich friends just like all his “colleges” and feels he can be President now that the most pressing problems are getting better. If you believe he wants YOU to make money, you are simply out of your mind!
    President Obama is a brave man that did not shy away from the terrible situation he and the country was confronted with when taking office. And he does it with class, smarts, ideas and a real work ethic that focus on making the lives of people better again!
    And the President deserves to be reelected because he is successful despite the only plan the GOP/TP has put forward: To become the party of “NO” to make the President and the country fail. What a plan is that if you call yourselves “Patriots” and scream “Values”? Give me a break!
    President Obama 2012

    March 18, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Jon Conde

    Well for one Romney's state was last when he went into office. And two, I'm sure Obama, with his many years in the private sector... oh wait nvm he never was there.

    March 18, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Bill Fitzgerald

    And who in their right mind trusts david axelrod. Thanks to him, we in Illinois suffered a huge tax utility rate increase funded by guess who, Comed utility company. Not disclosed by slimy axelrod.And how about the scandal at U of chicago involving axelrod and Michelle O where she was paid 63, 000 and never was at the hospital, for her relationship and compassion for the city's poor. She then engioneered and UNkind plan to dump low income mostly minority patients at U of C giving free shuttle rides to outside clinics making more room for more lucrative patients. Some Compassion michelle. Promoted by DAVID axelrod himself. If a republican did this you could already hear RACISM being screamed. Look at the people connected with the obamas, Tony rezko, in prison, Rod Blagojevich, in prison, Rahm Immanuel, resp. and the cause for the fine of 3.8 million dollars from the Federal election commission for illegally using corporate recources for fundraisers for politicians. And Rahms involvement in the accounting scandal related to Freddie mac. Nice friends obama!

    March 18, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Just Say No to Flipper

    No, Rmoney, you only know how vampire capitalism works. That's not what America needs so take your toxic ideas and slink back into the shadows with the rest of your parasitic neocon buddies.

    March 18, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Romney is correct in saying he is an economic heavyweight. He will be exactly that for his Wall Street cronies and Oil Company Executives, but the weight of his actions will fall once again on the middle class worker.

    March 18, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Dave

    President Obama has been a nightmare for the country for those who look at the facts. Yes, he is a nice guy. However, he had added to problems and not solved them.

    March 18, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Nadeem

    Romney is a complete joke as a nominee, you can't take anything he says seriously because you have no idea if he himself believes it. The man has no core, not character and no integrity.

    Dog owners against Romney.
    Seamus 2012

    March 18, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Tuft

    Axelrod is just taking tickets for Obama's clown show. He can run his mouth because he thinks he has nothing to loose. Axelrod already sold his soul the the DNC and says whatever he can to save face despite the fact the country is in the worst shape it's ever been in – socially, financially, and productivity. Whatever he and Obama tell the people, it's not holding wait because there reactions are only for the DNC and reelection. Romney cares about the whole country not just party colors.

    March 18, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Attila, The Hun

    Reince Priebus – remove the vowels and what is left? RNC PR BS!

    March 18, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Jerry

    Mr. Axle-Rod, your president is not even a flyweight. He's the most clueless president the voters of this country have ever elected. Mr. Axle-Rod, the smoke and mirrors will NOT work for 2012. American voters are not as dumb as you, your lying/hypocritical president and his lap dogs think we are. Most of us are on to you! Even some blacks have begun to take their blinders off.

    If you think you can win the coming election with your lies and exaggerations, you may get a rude awakening.

    Yes, Mr. Axel-Rod, I AM a life-long Democrat!!!

    March 18, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. george of the jungle

    David is 100% right. Mitt spends so much time stubling around he can't even get the words out. Now the gas prices are all the presidents fault too. If you think mitt can fix them i have bridge id like to sell you. It goes nowhere.Rick was on tv today won't give an answere either way on Afganistan. Mit dodges the talk shows altogeather except Fox. What a bunch of clowns Obama 2012

    March 18, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Thomas

    “We’re not going to be successful in replacing an economic lightweight if we nominate an economic lightweight,” Romney said Friday in Illinois. “And I’m an economic heavyweight. I know how this economy works.”

    Mitt sure did a great job informing us about the incoming economic meltdown back in 2008 , NOT !

    He helped get us into this mess and now his supper pack wants to return us to the past .

    March 18, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. fiscal2020

    Like all management consultants Mitt's main skill is finding inefficiencies, firing useless people and outsourcing. In this way he can save businesses. But, he doesn't produce any product or provide any service. The Bain Way is about immersing yourself in a business, firing all the useless people and outsourcing as much as you can to focus on the core of the business. The Bain Way is all about maximizing profit.

    However these aren't skills you want for President. A country is not supposed to make a profit off its citizens - if it does, it's taxing too much. A President can't "fire" American citizens whom he considers useless - he must give them product or risk revolution. And a President certainly shouldn't favor outsourcing, since that means jobs overseas instead of here. I am absolutely unconvinced that Romney would say, sacrifice a few percentage points off GDP so that Americans can have jobs instead of Chinese. I'm also unconvinced that Romney knows the difference between nationalism and socialism. Nationalism is not socialism or communism. Should another auto industry disaster happen in another sector, Mitt would let that sector collapse and be reestablished overseas.

    A CEO does not make a good President. Bush did not bailout the auto sector because he was too liberal - Bush was a patriot, and Romney is not. Jeb Bush would wipe the floor with any of the candidates - luckily though he is smart enough to wait for 2016 when it will be proved Romney and Santorum types both fail.

    March 18, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. diridi

    Mitt Romney left the state 16.4 billion deficit, his state was 49/50 in Job creation. Now you are talking like a drunk. Check your system, and get rid of your nasty stuff. o.k, Yes, Obama2012. Watch youtube type, when mitt romney came to town. Also watch the road we have traveled. good luck. be an educated one, at least.

    March 18, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. GI Joe.

    RNC PR BS = ReiNCe PRieBuS

    March 18, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    As vice president Joe Biden said Bain capital ran away from Detroit in 2008 , they didn’t want to take risk

    March 18, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Voltaire

    Romney is weakest frontrunner since 1920!

    March 18, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Time to research and accept the truth about Mittens and all his "experience." According to Bill Bain, who started Bain & Company and invited Mittens to head Bain Capital, Mittens initially said no (it was too risky a venture for Mittens).

    So Bill Bain told Mittens that if Bain Capital failed, he'd have his old job back, at his old salary, plus any raises he would have gotten. Bain also told Mittens that he'd provide him with a "cover story" so his (Mittens') reputation wouldn't be damaged by the failure.

    In a nutshell, according to Bill Bain himself, Mittens faced "no professional or financial risk" by going to Bain Capital.

    So much for being some hot-shot business guy.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 18, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    What's really funny about Mittens is that as a venture (vulture) capitalist at Bain, his main job was to analyze mountains of data at all the companies his company targeted and then make recommendations based on that data.

    And yet, here Mittens is lying through his teeth about how President Obama is somehow responsible for high gas prices, when anyone with a working brain knows that isn't true!

    Either Mittens is suddenly a moron – or he's just another desperate GOP contender (a la John McCain), willing to say and do anything for a shot at being another Karl Rove/Grover Norquist/Kock brothers puppet in the White House.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 18, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. hamsta

    bush made a mess and obamas answer was make a bigger mess.

    March 18, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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