Not a big bird: Axelrod labels Romney a 'parrot'
October 23rd, 2012
01:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Not a big bird: Axelrod labels Romney a 'parrot'

(CNN) - David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Barack Obama's campaign, brought a new bird into the election vernacular, saying Mitt Romney's debate performance reminded him of a certain winged animal.

"Governor Romney in so many instances said that now he agrees with the president's policies," Axelrod said on Tuesday. "If Big Bird was the symbol of the first debate I think the parrot would be the symbol of this one."

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Axelrod's comments came on a conference call with reporters, where he confidently declared Obama the winner of the final presidential showdown Monday night in Florida. A CNN/ORC International Poll of debate watchers conducted after the event indicated that 48% said the president fared better, compared to 40% who said the same about Romney.

Romney made headlines for agreeing with the president on a number of issues, including the 2014 drawdown deadline for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, despite previously standing against Obama for announcing a timeline. The Republican nominee also found harmony with Obama on drone strikes, Egypt, Libya, and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Axelrod argued Romney was playing too political with national security issues.

"It isn't a campaign, it isn't politics, there are lives at stake and the security of the United States of America is at stake," he said. "So that kind of parsing and shifting is not just offensive, but dangerous."

Romney's campaign, however, argues the candidate laid out clear distinctions in the debate. Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan pointed to their disagreements on the likelihood of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon and on the scheduled defense cuts.

"This trillion-dollar cut in defense will devastate our defense, make us weak, project weakness abroad, and I think Mitt Romney did a great job of contrasting that," Ryan said Tuesday on CBS' "This Morning."

Despite recent polls showing the race in a dead heat, Axelrod sounded assured Tuesday about the president's standing as the campaign heads into the final stretch.

"We have the ball, we have the lead, we have a great push-off as a result of these last two very strong debate performances," Axelrod said. "I'm confident that we're going to win this race, and we'll know who's bluffing and who isn't in two weeks."

Romney's campaign responded to the comments made on the conference call, saying Obama's team was once again using "desparate" attacks.

“Three weeks ago (Obama Campaign Manager) Jim Messina was insisting they were ahead in the battleground states and today he is insisting they aren’t pulling out of any states. That doesn’t sound like ‘Forward’ to me," Romney's political director, Rich Beeson, said in a statement. "And while the Obama campaign continues to engage in desperate attacks, Governor Romney will continue talking about his plan for a real recovery for the middle class, which has suffered under the failed Obama policies of the last four years.”

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney • Presidential Debates
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. GMDSR

    I keep hearing about Romney and no experience. Can anyone tell me what experience Obama had prior to being president where he fooled 51 million people who were dum enough to believe in hope and change. I guess they got their hope and change, an economy in the wine cellar, Arab world running amock, and his administration can't decide wether a terrorest act was a terrorest act??? Romney at least is a successful business man, Obama's team made sure we know that, and he was a successful governor. So what was Obama beside a successful fun raiser, a no show senator, and a Constitution law professor who got it wrong. Can any one tell me the true and correct facts, not the BS?

    October 23, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Jsmith

    Calling people names is always better than discussing the issues, eh, Axelrod?

    October 23, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. michd


    Last night we saw our biggest endorsement for Obama. Romney continued TO endorsed the president's view on the middle east. ROMNEY HAS NOW ENDORSED PRESIDENT OBAMA. OBAMA 2012

    October 23, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Samantha

    When national pool is gravitating towards a Romney win, Axelrod will use all adjectives to do personal attacks. Obama campaign grow up! We have 16T in Debt, no jobs, and no budget for 4 years? Sorry, but I'd say Axelrod you're fired!

    October 23, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    If bankrupting companies, shipping jobs overseas and raiding pension funds is what is considered successful, then Willard is your man. We don't need a president that cares only about business, we need one that actually cares about people. And no, corporations are NOT people too.

    October 23, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Jersey Girl

    People, let's not take our eyes off the ball: Mitt had that infamous comment about the 47% and he STILL has not produced more tax returns! He still has off-shore accounts, probably the first candidate ever. I hope more people find out about Sensata, the company in ILLINOIS that is primarily Bain-owned, and is shipping all of its jobs to China. As a matter of fact, Chinese workers had to come to the US to be taught by the very employees who just lost their jobs. Romney was the first of the PIONEER OUTSOURCER of jobs. He is NOT presidential material!

    October 23, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. julie

    @ gmdsr....................Obama HAS EXPERIENCE NOW...............MITT DOES NOT....try google and you may want to skip faux news......mitt has his $$– clearly he is NOT READY FOR THE W.H........but you & the likes of you (mitt kisseers)keep believing what you show the rest of you how clueless you are


    October 23, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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