Axelrod: 'It's going to be an important debate'
October 21st, 2012
11:44 AM ET
2 years ago

Axelrod: 'It's going to be an important debate'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser on Sunday said foreign policy is an important topic in the upcoming election, even though the economy still tops the list among voters.

David Axelrod's comments come ahead of Monday's final presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy. The debate is at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

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"I think it's going to be an important debate. I don't think any one event is decisive, even though being strong at home and building our economy is the number one issue, people want to know they have a strong, steady hand in the Oval Office," Axelrod said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

While discussing the importance of the debate, Axelrod didn't avoid getting a dig in at Mitt Romney, comparing the Republican presidential hopeful's trip to the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland to a television show from the 1980s.

"They don't want someone who's reckless and who's been consistently wrong on foreign policy issues, and Gov. Romney has. We all remember his 'Dukes of Hazzard' tour of international destinations over the summer where he not only roiled countries that are not as friendly to us but are our best ally, Britain," Axelrod said.

Romney generated international criticism in July for his comments in London questioning the UK's preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

That perceived gaffe was followed by what some said were inappropriate comments about Palestinians, questioning why Palestinian-controlled areas had a lower GDP per capita than Israel.

A Pew Research Poll which came out earlier this month and before the second debate, showed Obama leading Romney 47% to 43% when voters were asked which candidate they thought would handle foreign policy decisions better. That's within the margin of error and is a much tighter poll than one taken by Pew in September that showed Obama leading Romney 53% to 38%.


Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Presidential Debates
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Jessie P.

    I thought women did not like to be fooled by men or lied to by men.......they showed on many of the networks today how Mitt Romney out of his own mouth has said "he would not tax the wealthy" but in the debates have said the opposite, "how he has layed off many people to outsourse their jobs overseas and he himself made millions" but now says the opposite on the campaign trails, how he has said "he wants to get rid of social security and medicare and pre-existing conditions and leave it up to the insurance companies to decide if they will dump you or charge you outrageous fees" but says the opposite in a debate or on a campaign trail.and the list goes on and on and on and you will see out of his own mouth and his own actions he will never be for anyone who is poor or middle class. Romney simply does not care......these are the facts. Please join me and my registered Republican female friends and vote for Obama. Don't let Mitt Romney lie and make a fool of you...........be smart and set a good example for your children.....vote for Obama!

    October 21, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Stephen Bibb

    Let's break this down. The Mitt Romney is a puppit to the Rep GOP and he is going to do exactly what they want. The GOP has BLOCKED annual appropriations from the Fed Gov to the states for Firemen, Teachers, Police, etc and caused the layoff of over 600,000 Firemen, Police and Teachers. He is NOT going to get 1 vote from them. He is not going to get very many senior votes either due to their agenda to VOUCHER Medicare. He is not going to get many senior votes due to their desire to turn over social security to the stock market. Few black votes, no gay votes, few Latino votes and very few women votes. HE IS going to LOSE BADLY....

    October 21, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Stephen Bibb

    I hope the president INTERRUPTS Mitt Romney constantly in this last debate and calls him exactly what he is and that is a lier.
    Mitt Romney talks about creating 12 million jobs but he won't talk about how that is going to happen. He talks about moving Federal Departments to the states such as Department of Education, EPA and Department of Energy. How can the states afford to take over such programs and the implications for doing that is eroding National Security. The processes that these programs conduct are vital to the national security of our country. If these programs were turned over to the states it would devastate our ability to invest in research, technology and innovation and destroy our educational structure in this country.

    October 21, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Stephen Bibb

    Mitt Romney talks about moving Medicare and Medicaid to the states and for corporations and insurance companies to completely control. That is just like the Federal Reserve where Bank CEOs sit on the Board of the FED Reserve where the foxes run the chicken house. And again, where are the states going to get the money to fund these programs? How does that create 12 million jobs here at home and notice when it comes to talking specifics about stopping jobs from going overseas, Mitt Romeny has nothing to say.

    October 21, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Stephen Bibb

    Mitt Romney is no more than a used car salesman that will tell you anything to get elected and promise you anything.

    October 21, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Past four week all about poll numbers
    Media release One poll in the morning One poll in the evening too much
    Media became gamblers addicted to election. Enough
    Nearly 50% Americans avoid voting or don’t participate in the process that is not good news
    Media please spend time on educating people how importance their votes

    October 21, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Stephen Bibb

    Mitt Romney cares about one thing "Corporations". That is it. He does not care one bit about what is good for this country or the american people. By the way "I am a MORMON". I recognize a wolf in sheep's clothing. That is exactly what Mitt Romeny is.

    October 21, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Stephen Bibb- This is one SENIOR that will vote for the candidate that will make every effort to save Medicare and Social Security. The GOP candidate knows that reforming and fine tuning is the only way to save those entities before they just suddenly go bankrupt and disappear. Obama has already taken $716 billion out of Medicare to fund the debacle called Obamacare. No one is for turning Social Security over to the stock market, but If I had the option when I joined the labor force 57 years ago to invest part of my money in a different plan other than Social Security, I would have been much better off.

    October 21, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    David Axelrod is perhaps the lowest, most dirty campaign manager in the history of politics. Under his advisory, our sitting president has called his opponent is a murderer, felon, liar, and launched the most negative attack in history. This is Chicago-style hardball politics that America despises, and it is showing in the polls. Because the campaign cannot illustrate Obama's leadership, accomplishments and any plan for the futrure, Axelrod has had our president embark on a campaign of misinformation, lies and petty small stuff. None of this is viewed by the public as being "Presidential behavior", and character is everything in this race. America will vote Obama out on November 6th, and the responsibility for his disasterous campaign will finish Axelrod's career. Thank God!

    October 21, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. ByeByeA-Rod

    When the dust settles and Obama gives his concession speech, a particularly bitter and dark figure will sulk in the back of the room and ponder the end of his own career as well. Axelrod's campaign plan, without being able to illustrate any accomplishments or a plan for the future, has been to cause a sitting president to get down, dirty, negative and petty. He has advised Obama and surrogates to lie and cast Romney as a felon, murderer, etc.. In short, he has advised the sitting President to act very 'un-presidential'. America is sick of this, and we will show it with our votes on November 6fh. Axelrod bears total responsiblity for the failed Obama campaign, and America will gladly be rid of him...

    October 21, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    I'm sure Axlerod is going to try and orchestrate the debate through Schieffer, just as he did, with Crowley, and CNN.

    It is simply shocking........how much control this administration has gained, over the media, controlling everything you see and hear!

    October 21, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. TomSingleton

    Axelrod has shaped a candidate, who also happens to be our President, in a manner that makes him disgusting to American voters. The arrogant, laugh at anything important approach is more smoke & mirrors left over from 2008. Axelrod failed to evolve and rise to the occasion of running this campaign well. He's overseen the wasting of hundreds of millions of dollars to instill negativity in American's minds, and the Obama campaign can be seen as a pessimistic tribute to this egomaniac with a horrifying comb over and no class whatsoever.

    October 21, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. MsAgnes

    As a senior citizen with children and grandchildren, the choice to me is clear. I want them to grow up with freedom, not more government and Mitt Romney is the right man for the job. I only hope that people don't believe the Obama campaign lies about medicare and social security. We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, and if we vote for Obama it will only get worse.

    October 21, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. mitchlabuda

    The "debate" will be how, the Ambassador died, along with how Al Queda has not been stopped and on and on, about matters the U.S. cannot control and ultimately come back to gas prices and lack of jobs, two which government can't control either.

    October 21, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Tough Love

    So what if Romney criticized London's preparations for the Olympics? He ran an Olympics and the London security and admiistrative errors were epic. Most importantly, he TOLD THE TRUTH and didn't try to spin it. Mitt Romney has the experience to make the right decisions, and the leadership to defend them and the United States of America. Obama throws American's under the bus for making a movie (a first amendment right) and apologizes to Muslim extremists. Who is better for our nations strenght and securty – clearly ROMNEY....

    October 21, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    The only foreign policy experience romney the tax cheat has is protect the Massachusetts boarder from the tax free liquor invading from new Hampshire, if nobody knows yet ,its his 17bush advisors doing the talking on foreign policy and you know where that got us ,4500 dead heroes and then the gop and lyin Ryan vote. Againest the veterans jobs bill. The gop bafoons and romney the tax cheat already lost this election !!!!

    October 21, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Converted To Republican

    There is only one thing that needs to be discussed during the next debate --> LIBYA

    David Axelrod points to Mitt Romney's 'gaffes' on the Olympics and inappropriate comments about Palestinians, but nothing, NOTHING pales in comparison to the complete fiasco that has occurred in Libya. The Obama Administration made mistakes before, during and after the tragic loss of our Ambassador and 3 other Americans, and weak attempts to point to Romney's comments on 'non issues' will fall short of saving Obama.

    Your guy is a failure Mr. Axelrod. No amount of spin or distraction can save him from his own record.

    October 21, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Ted Barrett

    Simple decision – who is the mature, adult, qualified leader versus who is the name calling, negative, immature, proven failure?

    Mitt Romney is a decent man who serves America as a way to share his blessings with others. We should welcome such a noble man and his qualifications after putting up with a divisive and under-qualified man for four years. Obama is so bitter that it is actually disturbing to watch him campaign anymore. Big Bird? Romnesia? Grow up and talk about issues Mr. President.

    October 21, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Wanderer

    I don’t mind at all if either Obama or Romney is elected. The people of America is deserved what they will get by their own vote. Gullible people are treated by flip-flopper, simple minded people are treated by liar, etc … Please keep in mind that, Romney is in the 1%, it is very common sense that he must protect the 1%. Whatever he has said or will do is to protect the 1%. It is very natural, isn’t it? After all, if we forget who we are, the middle class, we will no longer be treated as the middle class. We will be controlled by the 1%.

    October 21, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Steffie

    Is it just me or does David Axelrod remind anyone else of Dr. Phil with a dark side? Why doesn't this man ever have anything good to say? Why does he think he has to trample Romney all the time. I think Romney is a very kind, generous and sincere man, but I've got to listen to David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter hammer him every day. Its sad and tragic that so many people inolved in the Democratic campaign are so negative. They lost my vote thats for sure.

    October 21, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. Disappointed

    As a young and first time presidential voter, I wanted to see some of the enthusiasm and good things that I watched in 2008, but it seems so different now. Our President offers no defense of his current term, and no plan for the future. I come from a long line of Democrats, but I'm going to vote for Romney this year. There is just too much at stake for me.

    October 21, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Ohio Overwhelmed

    Living in Ohio, we have seen nothing but constant Obama ads and they are all negative. Never once does he give a plan for the future. His campaign is really turining people off in Ohio this year.

    October 21, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Mitt has NO CORE or HEART!
    Vote OBAMA!
    Let's get RID of the GRIDLOCK GOP!

    October 21, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. SHOW ME STATE

    Romney has mastered lying to a perfection,it's part of his so called religion,his morals & values.His religious belief, I'm talking about the Mormon's "LYING FOR THE LORD" they learn it from a young age,their taught it's OK to lie if you justify it to be for the good of their religion. That's not Christian!!!!!!!! IT'S DECEIT!!!!!! So, what's his real motive to be president? Could it be his religion will see he is "WORTHY" so therefore he will become a "GOD" in afterlife and rule his own planet,that"s the Mormon goal in life to prove they too can become a GOD and lie and cheat through life in the name of the LORD!!!!!!!!! He will take us to war with Iran,he can"t be trusted-his religion is driving him ! he admitted the most important things to him is his Mormon religion & family. He donates money only to the Mormon church and the Mormon Foundation run by his son. Mormon money stays in the Mormon church and to Mormons only!!!!!!!NOT CHRISTIAN MORALS OR VALUES are they? Even atheist donate money to the less fortunate and they don't ask if their atheist before giving. PLEASE GOOGLE "LYING FOR THE LORD" – GET ENLIGHTENED!!!!!! KNOWLEDGE IS POWERFUL!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Page

    Aren't all of you liberals so cute and clever? Thinking that your lies will save the day. Obama has at least one more bow to do before he leaves office this year. That is to bow out to Romney. The leadership and 4 years of experience for Obama on Foreign Policy is a complete failure and joke. Once again Axlerod the bald headed weasel introduces rhetoric filled with misleading and deceptive hypocrisy. Who really insulted our close allies by returning a bust statue of Winston Churchill to England? Who has refused to meet with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Who continually betrays Israel? OBAMA!!!! Lead from behind? Who betrayed Poland and other Eastern European countries by agreeing to remove missile defenses? Who is going to make secret deals with Russia after they might be reelected because they will have more flexibility after the election? Who continually lies to Americans about Libya among many things OBAMA!!!! Most of you ignorant liberals don't care about the truth. Obama did nothing but issue an order to take out Bin Ladin, after he was advised of the opportunity. The military and intelligence already had things in place to complete this action.

    October 21, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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