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. telhasteezee

    I am still amazed at the stupidity of the US public. The woman lost her job probably because of all the republican supported outsourcing. Because they favor hording money. what the heck this is crazy. wake up america and rise against unbridled capitalism.

    January 15, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Jules

    Question to Romney: What have you been doing career wise since you left the governorship of Mass.?

    January 15, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Larry in Houston

    @Debra from Georgia – THANK YOU ! also – I think there are way too many people that are listening to the "F" Word News Channel – that channel is full of hippocrits. I honestly don't know why Bob Beckel & Alan Combs doesn't apply at CNN – if they did, you'd never hear of the "fair & balanced" thing anymore. It would be thrown out of the window. Maybe gov. haley barbour should have sent his "jailbirds" to the "F" word News channel, and took care of hannity & o'reilley & some of the rest. Too bad ed henry went there, they prob gave him a huge raise -and john roberts has left quite some time ago. and he's a good guy. If you want the real truth, watch AC 360 .

    Larry in Houston

    January 15, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. GonzoinHouston

    The GOP is missing the obvious: the bank bailout has actually cost about $25 billion, not $700 billion. As a result of the GM bailout, something like a million direct and indirect jobs were saved, and GM today is not known as Toyota/GM or Mercedes/GM. The government has already reduced its holdings in GM and is expected to get out at a slight profit within 5 years. If you want to attack something as a failure it helps to make sure it has actually failed.

    January 15, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    The auto bailout was not done for America. It was done to support "big labor" who the Democratic Party needs to support their party. That was entirely crony capitalism also.

    Axlerod is a really offensive person.

    January 15, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Four and The Door

    Obama threw over 3 times NASA's annual budget at auto companies GM and Chrysler but both still went bankrupt. How are they doing now? Well, Chrysler is an Italian owned company and GM is investing hundreds of $millions to build a new technology center and double the auto production and sales to 5 million cars in 3 years. In China. And every one of those cars will be built in China. If only the Chinese middle class workers could vote for Obama...

    January 15, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Drew

    Obama saved the American auto industry and in this last year the collective auto industry had their best year of profits and production in 15 years. Some changes were made but Obama didn't shut the doors and send the companies to China sell the company and keep the profits and pension money did he?

    January 15, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. The Poor > The Rich

    A vote for the GOP is a vote for corporate greed and the slow destruction of the American Middle-Class, it really is just that simple.

    January 15, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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