Axelrod: Romney misses the point
January 15th, 2012
09:03 AM ET
11 years ago

Axelrod: Romney misses the point

(CNN) – David Axelrod said Mitt Romney's assertion that he would run against the Obama administration's bailout of the auto industry in the general election represents the different visions for America held by the Republican frontrunner and President Barack Obama.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president's re-election effort, defended the auto bailout while pointing to Romney's record as CEO of Bain Capital.

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"Saving an industry, as the president did, is different than strip mining companies in order to – in order to profit off of them, which is, in many cases, what Mr. Romney did," Axelrod told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "The question is, is that the philosophy that you want in the White House?"

In a recent interview with CBS News, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, said he made tough choices at Bain, just as the president did through legislation that impacted the auto industry.

"The president took the reins of General Motors and Chrysler, closed factories, closed dealerships, laid off thousands and thousands of workers," Romney said. "He did it to try and save the business. We also had, on occasion, to do things that are tough, to try and save a business."

Romney's record at the venture capital firm has been a focal point for Democrats and the president's re-election campaign. Democratic operatives and surrogates have said the lay-offs during Romney's tenure at Bain are indicative of an economic philosophy that puts profits above people. Two-time White House hopeful Romney, meanwhile, has emphasized the jobs created during his tenure at the company and said the losses were a product of the free market.

When asked about a recent CNN/ORC International poll that showed 53% of registered voters thought Romney was best equipped to improve the economy, compared with 40% for Obama, Axelrod said Romney misses a key issue facing the country today.

Americans are "working harder than they've ever worked, and for the last decade, their income has been flat," Axelrod said in the interview that took place Saturday. "That is a central issue of our time. How do we create an economy [in] which the middle class is growing, wages are growing, standards of living are not declining, but growing? That's what a successful economy looks like. He misses that point."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. clarke

    Mitt misses a lot of points. He is just not in touch with what is wrong or right in America.

    January 15, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Sorensen

    Romney misses everything. He will go down in flames.

    January 15, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    The last NEW car I bought was made in Finlay Ohio. To be honest, I don't even know where Finlay Ohio is. That was a very proud day for me. The fact that I purchased a car made in the USA by hard working Americans. When the President gave a LOAN to the automakers...THEY did the restructuring. Yes, plants were downsized or closed....NOW they are opening and ADDING AMERICAN workers back to each company.

    Bain closed businesses for profit. Some re-opened but most did NOT. Jobs were out sourced. No matter how Candidate Romeny or the media spins it....we CAN and WILL do our own research on these subjects.

    January 15, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    “53% of registered voters thought Romney was best equipped to improve the economy, compared with 40% for Obama,”

    When voters will learn about King of Bain in October that time their job or economy
    Voters will choose job

    January 15, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  5. one voice

    Mitt(Corporations are People) Romney made millions from outsourcing American jobs oversees. Is that the kind of Person we want running OUR Country? I THINK NOT. Obama /Biden 2012

    January 15, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Mitt Romney can buy my vote for $500,000. It IS a secret ballot. he he he he

    January 15, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. GI Joe

    My Toyota was made in America.

    January 15, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. PrairieDog

    The average annual salary at Private Equity Investment Firms is $9 million. The question we should be asking Romney is how many jobs he created offshore. After 12 years in the same company, I spent 3 months telecommuting to India to train 6 people how to do my job. The I was laid off. A provate investment firm told us not to worry, our jobs were safe. They appoint a puppet CEO and manage only by the numbers. When I left this company the plan was 70/30 (meaning 30% offshore to 70% on. I hear that it is now 60/40. They got to make their 9 million you know?

    January 15, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  9. king

    I always said that Obama was naive on how powerful the rich and corporations is to fool the gullible in America. Obama had taken a ship that was sinking like a rock and some how brought all the way back near the surface again dispute all the obstructionism by the repubs Congress. If the Congress had embraced the president job plan the country would be in much better shape. We don't need a president that only see destruction of companies is the only pathway to create jobs, because the only alternatives is all about the companies existence which means lowering cost across the board, which means cheaper labor over seas. This means lost of American jobs across the country.

    January 15, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Greedy king of Bain economy not good for the nation
    John Mc Cain said today social conservative rally behind Romney in general election
    Really Mc Cain you want us vote for GOP Obama

    January 15, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Jim , Va.

    Axlerod is in touch with Ameica? Wasn't he the author of Obama's summer recovery tour?

    January 15, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. @Tothiwim

    Romney is right that the job losses he created were the product of the free market – a poorly regulated free market. He blurs the distinction between deserved profit and exploitative profit – it's all the same to him. Predatory capitalism needs to be closely regulated in the same manner as anti-trust actions.

    January 15, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Mark

    Ruleof thumb: Anything Axelrod. Says...believe the complete opposite.

    January 15, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the majority of the American automotive industry had been allowed to go under, then there would have been thousands out of work from there and other companies that supply the auto industry. We need ways to maintain the industrial sector of our economy and this helped.

    January 15, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. fred ca

    He misses the point? Let's see...there is still 16 Billion that will never be paid back but the 'loan' has been' paid back'. The obama admnistration 'show car' is being subsidized at $100,000+ per vehicle for pretentious 1 percenters. Salaried retirees were screwed while obama's union owners were given the keys to the factories for unsecured debt which will also be covered by obama care (so we taxpayers can pay more). To accomplish this secured debt holders were also screwed (pension funds, small investors...people who didn't invest hundreds of millions in obama. is clear to see that Romney misses the point.

    January 15, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. GI Joe

    @fred, ca - turn off FOX

    January 15, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. FIELD1stSGT

    No Axelrod it is you who misses the point. You have bet your career on the wrong man. Your support of the worst American President in history has destroyed any credibility you may have ever had. Goodbye to you Axelrod and to Obama come January 2013.

    January 15, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. Jerry

    No Axel Rod, you, the president and your "Lost" followers miss the the point! At least Mr. Romney has not used taxpayer's funds to "buy" votes like you and your clan have done and continue doing. Remember Solindra, etc., etc., etc.

    You bunch of losers!!!

    January 15, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. commentator

    This is what America does not get about Ron Paul. Although I've supported him for decades he will not be the GOP candidate. What his rising poll numbers do show is that the American voter is so disgusted with political business-as-usual that they are ready to vote for anyone who promises to shake up the status quo. It is time for Washington to hear the average American and change their ways.
    Now, that being said, ain't gonna happen.

    January 15, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. annie s

    Really? 53% of the voters think that Mr. 1% will improve our economy? I din't know we had so many people living on capital gains – because those are the ONLY people Mittens has ever helped.

    January 15, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Debra From Georgia

    Give you a quick summary of President Obama record, He killed Bin Laden, Brought down Kaddaffy, ended the war in IRAQ, gave us universal Health care, CREATED 3.6 MILLION JOBS. and if it was not for that "do nothing congress, he would have created more jobs. Axelrod is right on point, President Obama save America from another great depression and he is the RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB .

    January 15, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. fred ca

    Gi joe. As I do not have a tv turning off fox news is not an option. Another knee-jerk stereotypical reaction from the non-thinking. I hope you are enjoying the process that feeds your bliss.

    January 15, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. fred ca

    Oh, fyi. I work in the auto industry for a small company called GM. Ignoring the truth would put me with the ignorant obama worshipers. I chose truth.

    January 15, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Emma

    Romney made millions for firing employees of financially troubled companies. Obama rescued many jobs in Detroit and did not pocket any money for doing so. How can we not see Mitt Romney's focus and patterns of greediness. If he becomes President, he will try to repeat strategies that worked for him in business, He will try to "fire" workers to balance the budget, but we are aware the results could be disastrous for job growth.

    January 15, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. Jules

    Really, you think Romney has not used tax payers money? He was the governor of Mass. Of course he used taxpayers money. When you see his tax returns and exactly how much he didn't pay in taxes you will also see that he used taxpayer money to pay his share of the defense of this country as well infrastructure and everything else. Why do you think he will try so hard not to have to release his tax returns. If he paid a lot of taxes, even if he made tons and tons of money, he would have made them public already. My guess is he paid less taxes than Warren Buffet who in turn paid less taxes than his secretary.

    January 15, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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