November 15th, 2009
12:53 PM ET
13 years ago

Axelrod slams Romney

(CNN) – A top adviser to President Barack Obama says Mitt Romney should hold his criticism until he knows what he’s talking about.

In a pre-taped interview for Sunday’s :“State of the Union” program on CNN, Obama senior advisor David Axelrod fired back at criticism by Romney that the president was taking too long to decide on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan.

“I know that Gov. Romney has never had responsibility for any decision akin to this, so he just may not be familiar with all that it entails,” Axelrod said of the former Massachusetts governor.

Obama held his eighth meeting with his war council of senior Cabinet and Pentagon officials last week to further consider a request by his commanding general in Afghanistan to send up to 40,000 more troops to bolster the 68,000 already committed.

Axelrod called the deliberation process, which has lasted more than two months, a necessity when considering the lives of American troops involved and the enormous investment by the United States.

He noted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who made the troop request, have supported Obama’s decision-making steps so far.

Republicans criticize the president for moving too slowly to supply the troops that McChrystal says are necessary for a successful mission. They accuse Obama of both indecisiveness and playing politics by delaying an answer that may anger his liberal support base.

In a speech last week, Romney complained Obama was making campaign appearances on behalf of fellow Democrats while failing to resolve the Afghanistan troop question. Romney also questioned why Axelrod, whom he described as a political operative, was involved in meetings on Afghanistan.

Axelrod responded that he attends the meetings as an observer so he can communicate to the news media and public what is going on.

“I have not said a word in any of those meetings,” Axelrod said.

He also criticized Romney for unfairly characterizing Obama’s actions.

“Gov. Romney has to choose one argument or another,” Axelrod said. “Either he has to say he (Obama) is not paying attention or he has to say he is taking too long because he has been involved in a rigorous review.”

Obama is taking the time to ensure the right decision is made, Axelrod said. In a dig at the previous Republican administration, Axelrod added: “We've seen in the past what happens when we don't do that; when we don't do the necessary preparations.”

soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. GOP: Tough Talk No Action


    I guess you are too unintelligent to get the point of my post:

    I was referring to Repub hypocrisy. Of course there are Dems who never served–did you not read what I wrote about Clinton?

    The point is, it's always Repubs like Cheney who bluster on about war and patriotism even though they actively avoided serving their country.

    I don't see Dems who have never served or who dodged the draft claiming to be experts on national security. But that's what Repubs like Cheney, Bush, and Limbaugh do.

    Now go play outside and get off the computer!

    November 15, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. jlyn

    To Former Army: I don't believe you ever served. If you had, you'd certainly know that Obama is too young to have dodged the draft. And if Axelrod is 50 or less, he is too. Even with 2 sons, I say bring back the draft. That'll end these godforsaken, ill-advised, illegal wars soon enough. All you right wingnuts are mad at the wrong man. Obama is trying to fix the vile, sinful mess that Bush created. You want to be angry? Then direct it towards Bush for diverting troops from Afghanistan to Iraq and at Cheney for...well, just for being Cheney. What a sorry excuse of a human being he is.

    November 15, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    The request for additional troops in Afghanistan sat on Bush's desk for 8 months – and no action was taken.

    Why? Because they knew it was a difficult decision, and they decided instead of manning up and making it, they'd wait until after the election.

    You know, in case things went badly, it would once again remind Americans just how incompetent they were. It would have reflected badly on them, then-candidate McCain and the GOP in general.

    Lovely, wasn't it, the way Bush played politics with our soldiers' lives?

    November 15, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. vicki

    Finally we have a President and group of advisors who will think issues thoroughly through before acting. What a refreshing approach!

    November 15, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Emma

    What do Americans really want from our leaders when they think about electing them? We probably do not often agree with the way Congress
    men and women vote, but they still have the power to benefit the country, for better or worse. We can definitely see wrong paths taken by Bush and the Congress during his reign. What can Romney really do for us?
    He appears to have a very limited coalition at this time.

    November 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Let's Face It....

    Mitt Romney will never become president simply because he is Mormon......and a moron (but that's a seperate issue).

    The Christian presence in the US will never allow it. And, I hate to educate Romney on this, but a substantial part of his GOP affiliation are conservative Christians.

    November 15, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. C Spurgeon

    Good for Axelrod.The plastic man is just trying to suck up to his right and they won't consider him no matter what he does. Back to the Republican talk tapes.

    November 15, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Gunga Din

    This country has suffered enough with the Axelrod's. They have a very long bleak history

    November 15, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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