Axelrod strikes Romney, says Perry could bounce back
October 16th, 2011
12:29 PM ET
11 years ago

Axelrod strikes Romney, says Perry could bounce back

Washington (CNN) - David Axelrod, adviser for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, targeted Romney on Sunday saying the former Massachusetts governor had a history of shifting too much in his “core principles” while running for office.

“Time and time and time again, he shifts,” Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And you get the feeling that there is no principle too large for him to throw over in pursuit of political office.”

Axelrod added that Romney had previously taken more moderate-to-liberal positions on issues regarding abortion, gay rights and the environment.

“Then he decided to run for president, did a 180 on all of that,” Axelrod said.

Romney, who’s making his second bid for president, consistently polls as Obama’s toughest GOP competitor in a potential contest.

In the latest CNN/ORC International Poll, Obama and Romney were nearly tied in a hypothetical matchup, with Obama at 49% and Romney at 48%.

Meanwhile, in an Obama-Perry matchup, Obama took 51% and Texas Gov. Rick Perry came in with 46%.

Perry has since dropped in his poll numbers, with Georgia businessman Herman Cain making big gains.

And while Axelrod hit Perry over what he called “less than impressive” debate performances and the governor’s energy plan–which Axelrod labeled “a Xeroxed copy of the oil lobby’s wish list for America”–Axelrod still left the door open for a potential Perry comeback.

“But nonetheless, he has a lot of resources,” Axelrod said. “And, you know, I think if I were Gov. Romney, I'd be worried about all these changes in position and what kind of message that sends to voters–not just on the Republican side, but throughout the electorate.”

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    I have been saying this same thing. Perry WILL BE the nominee. Romney is not likeable and personable enough. Generally, he's a robot in an expensive suit who has no principles, no morals and no certainly no integrity and I say this as a PROUD supporter of President Barak Obama.

    October 16, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. nobama

    Axelrod is no dummy. He is trying to put doubts in Republican heads. He does not want to run against Romney. While I have reservations about Mitt, he is the guy to get Obama out of the White House. When that happens, we all win.

    October 16, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Woman In California
    I have been saying this same thing. Perry WILL BE the nominee. Romney is not likeable and personable enough...
    Barack Obama is proof positive that likeability and personality don't make for an effective President. He's a great guy. Great sense of humor, polite, sharp with the wit. But he has been a failure as President. He oversaw the first downgrade of American debt in history just after driving it up by almost 50% on partisan programs, none of which met their promises. He has been a partisan hack, fully dedicated to the Democratic Party, regardless of what cost the nation. You want specifics? How about a $450 billion jobs bill designed to fail and waste our precious time so that he could point at Republicans as being anti-job creation. He didn't count on not even getting it through the Senate because not even enough Democrats would vote for it. This is just one instance of Obama's disregard of the American people so he could play politics.

    Besides, I think Romney is a likable guy. Watch him in the debates. He's sharp and also has a great sense of humor.

    October 16, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. ST

    I for one I agree Perry will be the nominee. We have witnessed this before. John Kerry was a very good debater compared to "W" but people went to "W". This is what going to happen in GOP field of contenders. People will go for Perry and not for Romney!

    October 16, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The problem the democrats will have with Romney as the republican candidate is that he has taken every side of every issue, and will change his message every day just to make people like him. And still, after 17 years of trying to be accepted as a republican, Mittsy has spent millions, and 77% of republicans want someone else.

    October 16, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Steve in Denver

    Can anyone seriously consider a man who just proposed, as one of his 10 points, to give MORE taxpayer subsidies to the oil companies? Where are you tea partiers? Perry proposes more spending and government givaways, and you all just lap it up!

    October 16, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. gg

    the next republican president will be americas last president

    October 16, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Lizzie

    Perry has no chance of being elected.

    October 16, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Darrell


    So, you are saying that you want a man who shifts his view every time the winds blows....and how will we win if Obama is defeated?

    Are saying that because he bet on the workers, and won, in the US Automobile industry that was a mistake. Are saying that he got osama bin laden that was a mistake. Are saying that we are not loosing 750,000 jobs a month and creating new jobs for twelve straight months these are mistakes....Yes, the unemployment number is high and it needs to come down. Are you saying trying to insure more Americans, so that we don't have to pay for them when they visit the emergency room, is a mistake? Are saying placing regulations on banks so that we will not experience another financial melt down is a mistake?

    Again, how is the nation going to win if Obama is defeated and Mitt is elected president. Granted, Obama has not be a great president or a great leader...but he has been effective.

    Mitt, Gov of MA: record of job creation- 48 out 50 states. That is not a winning record...but I guess you don't care about winning, but only care about getting rid of Obama....a great reason to vote for Mitt.

    October 16, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. SixDegrees

    I can see how this would bother Axelrod, whose candidate essentially held no positions at all and continues to do so.

    October 16, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. sd

    A typical example Romney Care. why does he back away from romney care. He could have agreed on some parts of obama care while differentiating himself on the rest.

    October 16, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. thomas

    David Axelrod is absolutely right !

    He knows Rick Perry is a political money machine . Perry will be the first to say nothing new , keep his mouth shut as much as posable . And let his money do the talking , if asked hard questions , he will just keep walking !

    He's similar to Sarah Palin, both can't deal with communicationl debate or factual reason .

    Perry is a conglomerate , corporate , privet club , enigma , Political Candidate !

    Perry / Enron ?

    October 16, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. AzRose

    Axelrod has a lot of nerve saying Romney changes his positions often. Obama is even worse, he made so many campaign promises he did not keep. Transparency is a biggie, he was supposed to have the most open administration in history, everything he does is behind closed doors. I think Axelrod knows that Romney will be a tough opponent.

    October 16, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Don't count out CAIN - in another article today it was divulged that he is close personal friends with the Koch Brothers. You all DO realize we have the best government money can buy ................. Been that way for decades and will continue until the next revolution.

    October 16, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. OWS

    I agree with Axlerod. One thing consistent about Mitt Romney Is his inconsistency.

    October 16, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    There was so much malice and malcontent created by the GOP operatives that it has turned on them and nobody can handle the circus of chaos that is the Repub party. It has become a self loathing (well earned though) where no one is good (bad) enough to be “crowned king of the idiots”.

    October 16, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. jerry from Dallas

    Please take Rick Perry away from Texas. If you know the kind of mess we are in resulting from his 11yr rule, you will never want him near any leadership. 8.6% unemployment, 27Billion deficit, sch teachers fired, no funding to schools but he can afford 250 million State funds to private businessmen to build F1 Auto Racing courseway near Austin. I mean.....we are done!!!!!!! No wonder his Deputy is also running for US Senate. They are running away from failed policies.

    October 16, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Greg

    The headline should have been Axelrod endorses Romnoey. He all but said "We are afraid of a general election between Romney and Obama, so we are hoping that Perry will bounce back." Of course Axelrod wants Perry, Perry is a weak candidate. No self respecting conservative or moderate would vote for Perry, so Obama can coast back into office with his built in 20% liberal vote and a handful of moderates.

    October 16, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    Perry will bounce back because Cain's 999 is going to take him down. I listened to him on Meet the Press today and he admitted that taxes will go up for the middle class and poor but we will benefit in other ways. He could not – in my opinion – make "those ways" clear and David took him on!!

    Perry is still in the race and has the money to prove it!!!! Mitt is NOT what the RIGHT wants – Axelrod is right in that aspect.

    Obama 2012!!

    October 16, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. vc

    Whoever the opponent is, President Obama will meet that challenge. Neither Romney nor Perry have a job creation plan because all their little eyes can see is becoming a yes man to the big corporations. They will not be working for the best interest of all people. I am looking at Romney's and Perry's resume and it is not impressive, so why would I hire someone with that type of resume to come back and haunt me later? I will stick with what I got so we can improve chances on getting a breakthrough and waste no more time. What President Obama needs is a Democratic party that will get behind and back him. I might not like everything he does which I would discuss with him, but when it comes down to the other side to destroy him, I would do my part in standing with my President. If these Democrats think they will announce and say I am not supoorting the President in 2012 just so that they will get voted back in office will not work either because people see you as a Democrat. Remember 2010 election!!

    October 16, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. gg

    I think that will be true, I have the same feeling that Perry will bounce back and get the nomination.

    October 16, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |