December 21st, 2009
08:33 AM ET
9 years ago

'People have a right to be grouchy,' Axelrod says

Washington (CNN) – A top adviser to President Obama acknowledged Sunday that Obama’s once-sky-high approval ratings have taken a hit as the administration has dealt with a number of challenges during the year.

“People have a right to be grouchy,” Obama adviser David Axelrod said on CNN’s State of the Union when asked about Obama’s sagging approval rating, which is now just below 50 percent.

“There’s ten percent unemployment,” the top presidential adviser also pointed out. “These are tough times.”

“We took over in January in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, fiscal crisis, financial crisis, two wars,” Obama also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “The president has had to make a lot of tough decisions to try and rescue our economy from collapse, to move this country forward and we are going to reap the benefits of that.”

Although Axelrod acknowledged that Obama’s approval ratings had fallen considerably during his first year in office, Axelrod also said that the White House was not focused on polling data.

“One one thing I can assure you, though. The numbers the president is looking at aren’t these numbers,” Axelrod said as he pointed to a year-long graph of Obama’s approval and disapproval ratings.

Looking ahead to the 2010 midterm elections, Axelrod also tried to downplay the political headwinds Democrats are facing.

“We take the long view,” Axelrod told King. “The fact is: if we do our job right, if we keep worrying not about polls but about the jobs of the American people, about their health care, about their ability to educate their kids, stay in their homes and own their homes, send their kids to college – the basic pillars of a middle class life. If we keep worrying about the future and building a stronger future for this country, these things will take care of themselves.”

“Right now, we’re not worried about polls,” Axelrod said Sunday. “I believe we’re going to do well next November,” he added, “because the president’s making good, hard and important decisions to move this country forward.”

Filed under: 2010 • David Axelrod • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. kmp

    Maybe more would have happened had the Republicans objected and obstructed everything. It is one thing to not agree, but usually you have an alternative. So far all I have heard is NO.

    December 20, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. concerned in mississippi

    We as a country are all suffering right now, republicans, independents, and democrats alike. People are loosing their jobs and health insurance coverage daily but all people can seem to do is say the Gop didn't do this or the Democrats didn't do that. We are all SUFFERING PEOPLE!!!!! Stop bickering and start working together before it is too late. ONe group can't do it all. Our system was not design for one group to rule. We have to work together. Why are we so content with being ignorant. Fighting is not getting problems solved. Fighting is making things worse. Why can't we see this. The economy is not a democarat problem or a republican problem, it is an American problem; we need to work together to fix it. I am sick of the fighting and bickering. Grown men and women should be able to express themselves more intelligently. We are in trouble and we need to wake up before things get worse and it becomes too late to fix the problems.

    WAKE UP!!!!!!! WAKE UP!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!

    December 20, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. p

    I think our President is terrific.

    So you naysayers would have rather had Grampa & Moose-woman
    running our country?

    My own opinion:
    Only a moron or a plain fool could possibly wish that the election had turned out with the Redumblicans winning...

    Obama will win a second term. Count on it. Deal with it.

    December 20, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. haren

    Who says I am grouchy. I am not and waiting for this president to have absolute majoririty in congress in 2010 without blue dogs and corrupt senators and congressman who are in pockets of big corporation.
    We need to Vote and clean up this congress to pass more people oriented issue to take this country to right path.
    He believes in Gandhi and King and will bring PEACE in middle east so that we don't have to take our shoes off at Airport.
    Enough of this Machoness of right wing Republicans and Fox News in the world.

    December 20, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |

    Would one of the Republican senators or congress people please denounce and give up all your socialist entitlements afforded you (HEALTHCARE, RETIREMENT) by being a representative please, JUST ONE, otherwise the whole lot of you are just a bunch of lying hypocrites!!! Social benefits are fine for all of you, but oh they suck for the rest of us.. and you have sheep that actually follow the garbage out of your mouths!! SAD

    December 20, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. haren

    This is the game of Republican to hand over bad economy by impementing only one issue TAX CUT for wealthy to a Democratic president like Clinton,Obama and than we stupid americans forgets and bring back republicans for more of the same and becomes grouchy for no reason.

    December 20, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Woonsocket

    This guy is a thug and deserves a little prison time for his crimes.

    December 20, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. usualone

    How quickly people forget that we had a mess when this President came into office. At first, he has to build bridges with other countries as they are needed to work with America for us to succeed in many aspects, such as the wars produced by the last administration. He has to contend with a Congress where the Republicans want him to fail. (This shows their lack of caring about the American public as they absolutely propose no alternatives.) We were already in a financial mess before his team went into action. People continue to expect miracles from him with instant positive results. He is only part of the equation to get America back on its feet. No one proposes how he can improve the country as all these naysayers throw around scare tactics about everything he proposes. As the old saying goes, it takes money to make money. It is too early for us to give up on this President. Those who comments in this blog and others, probably never would give this man a chance from day one.

    December 20, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |

    I am still waiting to hear from Michelle Bachman about a live national healtcare debate where we just ask each other questions that have not been prescreened.. Oh I will take on Sarah Palin as well, same offer!! What afraid of the truth ladies!! and by the way, I am not an idiot either, so be prepared. In fact, both of them should not have any socialist programs benefiting them at all. So give up your healthcare (AFFORDED YOU BY TAX PAYER DOLLARS) Michelle and any retirement afforded you by TAX PAYER DOLLARS. otherwise shut up hypocrites!!

    December 20, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. DJ

    Bush claimed that he never watched the polls. His approval rating started in the low forties, jumped to the low nineties, then ended up somewhere around nineteen percent. Obama has been President for less than a year. At this point in his Presidency, the good lord Reagan was at around 48% approval. Obama is sitting somewhere between 47% by Fox and 56% by MSNBC, and it changes daily. At this rate, he'll probably be considered a divine figure by liberals in the same way that Reagan is by conservatives. Why do I say this? Because he's already infuriated his base by continuing the war in Afghanistan and dropping the public option. The liberal base will likely forget these "offenses" by 2029, the same way the conservative base has forgotten that Reagan raised taxes to stem the tide of a budget deficit. The base of any political party only cares about the labels. They're ignorant attention-starved children who just want someone to act like they're paying attention to them.

    December 20, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Steve Jensson

    Someone might want to remind Mr. Axelrod that the polling that really counts begins here in Iowa on Jan. 23 with Precint Caucuses, not in Oct. just before the election as he states.

    December 20, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Way beyond grouchy

    You ain't seen nothing yet.

    December 20, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. Gerry NH

    If Obama didn't want to take responsibility after he became president then he should resign as president. The economy and jobs has been and still is the most important issue. If you are not employed how can you afford health insurance. This president and his people have lied constantly to all americans. They should be put in jail for what they are doing to this country.

    December 20, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. KinSC

    Grouchy? How condescending of Axlerod. And the unemployment rate in my state is not 10% it is 12.3%. Get a clue Washington we are way past "grouchy."

    December 20, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. Dan, TX

    Obama is doing a great job. Too bad the republicans don't want to help.

    December 20, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    I didn't vote for Obama, but you can't blame him for the financial crisis or the housing bubble. We should blame Clinton, Bush, Greenspan, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. Together, they brought us to our knees. Dodd and Frank should have been fired.

    Public Option, a self-sustaining public plan, will help us reduce deficits by encouraging the poor to wean themselves from Medicaid and welfare as well as expanding the productive Middle Class.

    December 20, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. once upon a horse

    GOP "god" and legend Ronald Reagan also suffered in the first year of his administration and as a normal Democrat I voted for him back in '80! We all know how that turned out after he got rolling. And Reagan did not have a big party of NO to oppose him either. Americans are fickle and want quick fixes that are not going to happen. I will give Obama more than his first year in office to get things going. That's much more than some of the right wing haters are giving him..

    December 20, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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