November 4th, 2009
03:56 PM ET
11 years ago

Axelrod calls NY-23 'only national race of consequence'

David Axelrod said the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia were 'impacted by state issues.'

David Axelrod said the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia were 'impacted by state issues.'

(CNN) - Top White House aide David Axelrod brushed off Democratic electoral losses in Virginia and New Jersey Wednesday, calling the congressional race in New York's 23rd district the "only national race of consequence."

Axelrod told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey were "impacted by state issues" and that they were not national races. He said the results of those races should not intimidate moderate Democrats, who he said should focus instead on the election in upstate New York, where a Democrat won the seat for the first time in over 100 years.

"That's the race that most members of Congress are going to look at with interest, and that's the race they should," Axelrod said. "Because the message was, if you embrace the president's agenda… then you will do well and you'll energize voters and you'll get the kind of turnout you need to win your race."

Many Republicans have called the race in NY-23 a unique situation - since the local GOP appointed the nominee instead of conducting a primary, which they say Hoffman would have won - Axelrod called the chaotic contest evidence of an intra-party split.

"What you saw there was I think the future, or the near-term future of the Republican Party, civil war in which the right wing ran the moderates out of the party," Axelrod said. "And they ran right to the Democratic candidate. And I think that has some harbingers for what's to come."

Tune into The Situation Room beginning at 4 pm ET for the rest of Wolf Blitzer's interview with Axelrod.

Filed under: David Axelrod • NY-23
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Ken in NC

    Mr. Axelrod, you may think that the New York 23rd district race was the "only national race of consequence," and it may well be, however, it was also a message to the administration and I hope you got it because it will not be repeated. Republicans are holding up many of the Presidents appointments. Your own rules are preventing you from filling many positions. Republicans are stalling this administration at every turn. They are doing everything they can to delay and or stop this administration from moving forward with the full knowledge that they will be able to claim the Obama administration has not gotten anything accomplished. It is pass time Mr. Axelrod to move on. A lion tamer enters the lions cage with a whip and a pistol. He uses the whip to control the animals. If they get out of control or refuse to respond to the crack of the whip then he uses the pistol for final control of the animal. President Obama's whip isn't working.

    November 4, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. Tammy

    Axelrod should have told Obama so he would not have made all those unnecessary trips to New Jersey and Virginia and he could have played more golf instead.

    November 4, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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