Axelrod: 'It's going to be an important debate'
October 21st, 2012
11:44 AM ET
10 years ago

Axelrod: 'It's going to be an important debate'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser on Sunday said foreign policy is an important topic in the upcoming election, even though the economy still tops the list among voters.

David Axelrod's comments come ahead of Monday's final presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy. The debate is at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

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"I think it's going to be an important debate. I don't think any one event is decisive, even though being strong at home and building our economy is the number one issue, people want to know they have a strong, steady hand in the Oval Office," Axelrod said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

While discussing the importance of the debate, Axelrod didn't avoid getting a dig in at Mitt Romney, comparing the Republican presidential hopeful's trip to the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland to a television show from the 1980s.

"They don't want someone who's reckless and who's been consistently wrong on foreign policy issues, and Gov. Romney has. We all remember his 'Dukes of Hazzard' tour of international destinations over the summer where he not only roiled countries that are not as friendly to us but are our best ally, Britain," Axelrod said.

Romney generated international criticism in July for his comments in London questioning the UK's preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

That perceived gaffe was followed by what some said were inappropriate comments about Palestinians, questioning why Palestinian-controlled areas had a lower GDP per capita than Israel.

A Pew Research Poll which came out earlier this month and before the second debate, showed Obama leading Romney 47% to 43% when voters were asked which candidate they thought would handle foreign policy decisions better. That's within the margin of error and is a much tighter poll than one taken by Pew in September that showed Obama leading Romney 53% to 38%.

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Presidential Debates
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. 1twinsfan

    Just yesterday, Romney referred to the Soviet Union as our number one foe.

    October 21, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Axlerod looks and sounds like a man that has been beaten to a pulp. He looks like a man that went to a Hatchet Fight without his Hatchet. Being President is a big job. clearly Obama wasn't up to the job.

    October 21, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Suzanne

    Obama/Biden 2012. Romney on foreign policy is a joke. No experience or tack. What a embarrassment on the national stage!

    October 21, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I can almost predict that if Mitt Romney becomes President in his first year he will start a war with Iran because defense spending contracts means billions for his billionaire friends, they're dumping millions into his campaign because they have a guarantee return. Dick Cheney just didn't show up on Capitol Hill one day to say hello to his Republican friends, he came to get a guarantee they would not cut Halliburtons et al defense contracts. You better wakeup people, the economy and jobs ain't the most important thing on the table for Republicans.

    October 21, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Lives in the Buckeye state

    I think that both candidates will be extremely cautious tomorrow night. But folks it's down to this...The Pesident will need good weather in Ohio's metropolitan areas on election day. That's where the condensed majority of his base is. If remotely bad weather hits Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo etc. that keeps people away from the polls Romney carries the state. It's almost amazing how each campaign, especially the President's, are pushing the early vote here. Both know it's a game changer. In 2004 it was looking like Kerry was on his way to victory here. What happened that day? We had thunderstorms run through the Democratic areas of downtown Cincinnati keeping folks home. Votes that came in late from rural areas in Hamiton and Butler counties swung the state and evetually the electoral college for Bush. Gonna be an intersting election night to say the least.

    October 21, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    @MsAgnes: "As a senior citizen with children and grandchildren, the choice to me is clear. I want them to grow up with freedom, not more government and Mitt Romney is the right man for the job. I only hope that people don't believe the Obama campaign lies about medicare and social security. We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, and if we vote for Obama it will only get worse."

    If you're a senior citizen, then you should know better, having lived through World War II and experienced firsthand the economic expansion brought on by investment in OUR country with fair tax rates (which BTW are the lowest now in 50 years).

    You should also know better and accept the FACT that our country ALWAYS fairs better under Democratic administrations than Republican ones.

    If elected, Mittens will do what he does best: break up American companies, lay off American workers and ship American jobs overseas.

    Turn off Fox, Agnes, and start thinking for yourself!

    October 21, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. PJ

    Typical Faux news propaganda:
    Candy Crowley continued her remarks to Romney by saying ".........and you are right Governor Romney, it did take
    two weeks for................".
    If you want to spend years building up a portfolio for your retirement, great. But remember, and catastrophe can
    wipe out your profit in one day, and how many years will you have left to rebuild it? Hopefully as many as you
    had when you first invested.
    Romney "saved" the Olympics with $1B of federal funds, you know, those peskly old monies that he hates to
    pay taxes to?
    Axelrod doesn't even come close to the antics of Karl Rove, and I am grateful for that. President Obama will
    win or lose with dignity, Romney will win or lose as the King of Chameleons.

    October 21, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Obama running on empty...

    Pres Obama is Piggy-back trying to run on Former Pres Bill Clinton's record.........or.....Personal name-calling of Romney....Not very Presidential nor showing seroius Leadership............>>>>this way to Chicago....

    October 21, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. donna

    This will be an important debate because we will be witnessing the death of the Republican party.

    October 21, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    Yes, it IS going to be an important debate and the twitterer have something else besides Benghazi because his boy toy's foreign experience, his worn words, is that he voted for two unfounded wars.
    We already know how many "friends" the bulky bishop made back in the summer when he visited three countries and insulted all three.

    October 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    David Axelrod wishes this next debate was important. Why? Because once the candidates have stepped out on live TV dealing directly with the issues, Mitt Romney has consistently won. And what Obama/ Biden 2012 is watching is Mitt Romney winning this election. This last debate is not big enough to change that fact. But Mitt Romney will win here as well.

    October 21, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. suza

    I saw Axelrod this AM and it is obvious this is getting to him. He repeats the same old worn statements. The double-talk, the monotonous talking points and especially the look – 'I'll peer right into the camera with the utmost honesty and they will all believe me even though I am lying through my teeth.' This guy needs a rest.

    October 21, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. jpmichigan

    Obama came into the office of Presidency total depended on others for foreign policies, and llook where it go him, no where. He is much better at campaigning ( so he can spin, spin a web of distortions). His foriegn polies are to appease foreign nations and pander the Ameican people. We are not safer than wer were 4 yrs. ago. He stated after the death of Osama, al-quea was on the runn, well we have news for you Mr. President, they are comming baack stronger than before. That is the reason you kept what happen Libya ,callling it form the start a direct act of terrorism, instead you spin it , in the Rose garden and stated GENERALLY speaking you would not tolerate (meaning) any act of terrorism or the cause of any act of terrorism. Libya was you trophy, but the al-quea uses the country to kill American. Libya can't even protect its let alone Americans.

    October 21, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Sleepless in Cali

    I have grandchildren, and I am ashamed of what this country has become under that slime ball Axelrod and Obama. I want more for my grandchildren. And, yes, Social Security WILL go bankrupt unless we make some serious adjustments. And, YES, these changes do NOT affect current SS recipients nor those in the near future. But it WILL affect my children and grandchildren UNLESS we act now! And, YES, under Obamacare there IS health care rationing – you simply won't have a procedure approved by that "panel" if you are over a certain age and "no longer productive enough." It's that way in all other government-controlled health care systems. There's only so much money in the pot, unless you want to be taxed 80% to cover Obamacare. Get real, people!

    October 21, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Tink Again,
    What do you think the problem is now. For the last 75 Years people haven't been thinking for themselves. SO, now we are in the soup with few avenues of escape. MsAnges tells you Rome has burned to the ground but you just keep Fiddleing. You are presented with the facts and you don't believe them. People have done better under Democrat Adminstrations?? When was that? Oh, maybe you mean while Rome was Burning and the National debt was going up and up and up. When are you going to take responsibility for your own welfare and stop putting it off on the government (Taxpayers). I hope you have a plan B because Plan A is flatter than yesterday's Economy.

    October 21, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Getoverit

    "The economy still tops the list among voters."
    But Big Bird still tops the list of the President's campaign topics.

    October 21, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. raj

    heal the world. obama is for that. romney would create another cold war and instability across the globe. romney is novice in handling foreign policies and he will jump on the trigger before aiming. it would be a disaster.

    October 21, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. MiddleClassCitizen

    Sorry to disappoint you but Romney will win by a landslide. Romney 2012

    October 21, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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