August 12th, 2014
11:32 AM ET
8 years ago

David Axelrod smack-tweets Hillary Clinton

(CNN) - Zing!

David Axelrod, former adviser to President Barack Obama, hit back Tuesday against Hillary Clinton's recent criticism of Obama's foreign policy.

In an interview with “The Atlantic” published over the weekend, Clinton argued the decision not to arm Syrian rebels early on had led to Islamic militants taking over swaths of territory in the region.

The former secretary of state also took a swipe at an oft-repeated phrase Obama uses to sum up his foreign policy choices - “Don’t do stupid stuff.”

"Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle," Clinton said.

In his tweet, Axelrod appears to be knocking Clinton's 2002 vote as U.S. senator in favor of the Iraq War. (Of course, his tweet can also be aimed at Republican hawks who support a harsher response to the current situation in Iraq.)

The PAC for the progressive group MoveOn also tweaked Clinton.

“Secretary Clinton, and any other person thinking about seeking the Democratic nomination in 2016, should think long and hard before embracing the same policies advocated by right-wing war hawks that got America into Iraq in the first place and helped set the stage for Iraq’s troubles today,” Ilya Sheyman, the PAC’s executive director, said in a statement Tuesday.

Clinton later said she regretted supporting the authorization of the Iraq war.

"I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had," Clinton writes in her new book. "And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple."

The recent tension between Clinton and Obama's team invokes memories of their 2008 battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, when the two candidates butted heads over foreign policy.

A White House official said Monday that the White House is not getting amped up over Clinton's interview. They don't see this as her break-away moment, according to the source, though they anticipate she will move away from Obama over time.

The President and his former chief diplomat will have a chance to talk things out Wednesday night; the two are expected to attend the same event in Martha's Vineyard.

Clinton is also getting hit by the Republican National Committee, which accuses Clinton of playing politics on the issue.

"You can't distance yourself from this administration’s foreign policy when your job for four years was to lead its foreign policy," RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said.

CNN's Ashley Killough, David Chalian, Dan Merica, Jim Acosta, and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: David Axelrod • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. Roger

    Let me understand what I am reading, Hillary who voted for war with Iraq where we lost thousands of young American lives is critical of the foreign policy of Obama who has saved the lives thousands of young American soldiers by removing them from Iraq, Afghanistan (in progress) and by not sending them to Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Iran for more useless wars? Am I reading correctly or did she just lose her mind? I can tell you one thing I thank Obama for having the will to refrain from the voices of the war mongers who are not satisfied unless the see mayhem and destruction.

    August 12, 2014 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. monkeebizns

    Does anyone belief anything Hillary says – it seems she changes with the polls as needed over the years – sometimes being in the public light for a long period of time can bite you in the ass if you are not careful. Especially when you have a closet full of skeletons and lord knows if anyone does it is the Clinton's.

    August 12, 2014 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. How thweet!!

    Ah - Axelrod, the mole who gave us Obama and then ruled the land. Yes, Axelrod, who whitewashed Chicago's Mayor Dayley's crimes in return for big bucks paid to his PR firm. Yes, Axelrod, instigator of the race card played during the 2008 campaign. Yes, Axelrod, who orchestrated photo ops of Obama's trip to Kenya, where the press outnumbered Obama's family. Yes, Axelrod, who ensured that none of Obama's lackluster college records (nor Michelle's pitifully written dissertation) would ever be made public. Yes, THAT Axelrod, who sold his country down the river by creating the illusion called Obama.

    August 12, 2014 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. J Braford

    If someone doesn't know what stupid stuff is, look at the decisions of the Bush Administration. Obama is calculating and on target. He doesn't fool around. He goes in and takes care of business.

    August 12, 2014 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Miguel

    Axelrod is the Dem version of Carl Rove, both lying hacks spinning trash.

    August 12, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. jcnkc

    Good Grief!!!! Hillary please retire and stay retired. I am a woman and wanted to vote for you but you are too radical and people you supported you turn on them. So since you are retired stay there be a grandmother but give the US a break. I used to admire you but not any more. Sometimes you need to realize your day came and then went. You are on the went side. Even in the era of women gaining strength (and that is/was a good thing) you didn't win. Now the division of the sexiest roles are not so visible women have gained ground and you played a part. Now it is time to just give it a break please. I was never so sick of someone as I was Sarah Palin now she is nobody she went back to where she came that was a good thing she is an embarrassment to women everywhere. But you my dear have billions more brain cells that good ole Sarah. Use them to do something constructive but to not attack our President, the one you lost to you had a position with our President so leave it with goodwill not sidelining to gain some sort of a political agenda. It's tacky!!!

    August 12, 2014 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. jcnkc

    Also the Clinton's, God bless them, are always back tracking. She was for the war but now years later with a political agenda she "regrets" agreeing to it....Bill puffed a joint but didn't enhale, then didn't then did have sex with Monica. Yea all politicians and all people have said and done things they regret. How opportunistic it seems to play the "I regret it" role. Save it sister. Society has gotten wiser and smarter to this sort of thing. Just own changed your mind to float with whatever side you are courting...nothing new nothing to be ashamed of but at least it is real....just stop with the regrets and denial. Face whatever role you played to get where you are today with honor and responsibility it takes strength to own a choice or action and that is admirable. BS regrets are humiliating and it comes back to haunt you. Reporters keep up with this stuff so you can't hide from it. Leave Obama to do his job and respect him for the strength in choices HE has made and accepted. the whining is starting to sound like a republican.

    August 12, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. ted

    Bush and Cheney cooked up the lies and the fraudulent evidence that led this country down the path to a fiasco that will never be forgotten. Would someone please issue both of those morons subpoenas to appear at The Hague to face war crimes trials? OR at least send the two clowns to Gitmo for some good old fashioned water boarding.

    August 12, 2014 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Democrat turned Republican, because of the traitor Obama


    This is why Elizabeth Warren is a better candidate. Hillary is Bush lite on war.
    Warren is a fool, that will destroy this country, here and her idiotic radical agenda.

    August 12, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  10. tp1776

    didn't Bush have "an organizing principle" to bring Democracy to the Middle East? That's working well, isn't it Hillary?

    August 12, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. 1CDO_RLI

    This is what you get when an Administration lays down and, let's the world trample on it. That's how it is today.

    August 12, 2014 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Mike land

    She is the next president. I am not sure why we are going to the expense of having costly elections. It will blow billions of dollars for a total waste. Lets just install Hillary the dictator now. We know that 130,000,000 entitlement sucking leaches will vote her in 100-percent guaranteed. Its going to happen. What each person who is not on some kind of government welfare program can do now is to mitigate their loses. This means holding all major expenditures. Saving as much as possible. Getting "off the grid" ready. Having an exit plan to leave the USA. The best thing you can do to prepare for dictator Hillary is to get your passport as early as you can. The rush of applications is going to paralyze the state department. You need to also file for the various visas you will need. A work visa is best but hardest to get. The Schengen Visa is a good choice. An England Visa and Schengen Visa are a good pair. You will enter England as your first country. You stay there for 3 months. You then take the Chunnel to France. They will stamp your exit date but there is a very good chance that once in France they will not stamp your Schengen Visa at all. Some people get lucky and England does not stamp the exit date. You can then stay in the Schengen region for up to a year before you may get into trouble. But remember your Schengen visa has no entry stamp to show how long you have been there.
    So the reason for all this is to avoid all of the horrible things this nation will go through with a Hillary presidency. There will be 1) insolvency, 2) civil collapse, 3) market collapse, 4) massive political upheaval. So why not join us Schengen Americans and watch all this from afar while having transferred all our retirement funds to international banks and lock box accounts.

    August 12, 2014 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. Hank

    Axlerod is just bad news. Lies and cluelessness. Perfect advisor for Obamo.

    August 12, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. John_dog

    Stupid is as stupid does(n't). No action often has larger consequences than action. Take Bill Clinton for example: He had Bin Laden in his sights and chose that action would likely have collateral damage of killing 300 innocent villagers so chose no-action. The result: 9/11 and a million follow-on deaths. Example #2: Obama – ISIS in Syria was a very small faction, by inaction they are now the #1 world Terrorist organization – worst they are the most organized ever, most ruthless and the most wealthy.

    August 12, 2014 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. craigorie

    I hope Hillary doesn't run. She's old news. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat....just an Independent.

    August 12, 2014 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  16. Just

    Lib vs lib? Just the beginning, two elections to go with these people who will try and distance themselves from the man who could have been president..Obama.

    August 12, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. BritHawk

    Axelrod has been hiding in the bushes for the last couple of years. It's good to see him back with his quaint ideas. Chicago rules ok!

    August 12, 2014 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  18. scranton

    Alxelrod ,what a failure in foreign policy along with Obama.

    August 12, 2014 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  19. RealFake Brit

    She's doing exactly what she needs to do. She is the Democratic nominee for 2016. She knows that she doesn't need to pander to her base (left, progressive, liberal, etc) because she knows none of them will vote for a Republican no matter what she says.

    That's what I don't get about Obama. Why does he continue to pander to Environmentalists, LGBT, etc. The Dems have their vote no matter what happens, because to those people voting for any Republican (regardless if they might agree with them) is like committing suicide. Clinton knows this and isn't worried about the 'base'. She needs voters that aren't ideologically driven.


    August 12, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. ja

    The cesspool did start with the so called invasion to get wmds and bin laden, all based on lies, that area has been a war since antiquity, Axelrod is so on point

    August 12, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  21. Geauterre

    Hillary Clinton reminds me of so many before her, who try using their names like brands on soup cans. Only, when they do, it's the contents that are judged not the packaging. They kinda forget that.

    August 12, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |

    Axlerod =Fail. The blame Bush tactic is over and done. It is time for Obama and the rest of his team to put on their big boy pants and take responsibility. Get over it David, your boy wonder has effed up big time and the current state of world affairs clearly shows that he was and is not prepared for the big show. He may view ISIS as JV, but Mr. Obama is on the freshman squad as a bench warmer.

    August 12, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. MarcNJ

    So sick of tit-for-tat politics/society.

    August 12, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. JJ

    I love it. The GOP and teagaggers are salivating over a disagreement and thinking this means they will be buried in a 49 foot crater rather than a 50 foot crater. LMAO!

    August 12, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  25. Hangingout

    Obama had an advisor? That's news in itself...

    August 12, 2014 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
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