David Axelrod was doing his job playing defense for the Obama administration this morning, following the President’s widely-panned performance at the debates last night.
The senior adviser to Obama’s bid for a second term proved once again that he can be an effective bulldog and spin doctor when it comes to the political game, issuing several back-handed compliments to Mitt Romney’s performance before going for the gut. Because of this, we have taken to calling him David “Damage Control” Axelrod.
“He delivered his lines well,” Axelrod said on Morning Joe Thursday. “The problem isn’t with his performance. The problem is with his underlying theories and some fundamental dishonesty that we saw last night,” he continued. “I give him an F for being honest with the American people.”
Axelrod said that the Obama campaign will “continue to prosecute this case,” over the next 30 days, and has called on the media to fact-check some of Romney’s claims regarding his tax and health insurance plans. This, of course, has been happening since late last night, though many fact-checkers have criticized claims made by both Romney and Obama.
“You guys have an obligation as well to check some of these allegations,” Axelrod said. “Everyone was very dazzled by the fact that Mitt Romney came in with some well-rehearsed lines, but now we have to sit back and say, ‘What exactly is it that he said and was it true?'”
Joe Scarborough didn’t miss a beat, asking David “Damage Control” Axelrod why the President didn’t try harder to call Romney out on some of his claims during the debate.
“I understand there was a hunger for us to attack Romney more personally than the president did last night,” he allowed. “The president was talking to the American people…treating the American people like adults.”
Strangely, the left has almost ignored some of President Obama’s claims in favor of a rigorous fact-check on Mitt Romney over a handful of claims made in the debates. While it is true that some of Romney’s claims were sketchy, if not downright untrue, the same goes for the President ($4t deficit reduction, individual insurance rebates, imaginary war savings) and while it’s interesting that only a few elements have been cherry-picked from a meaty 90-minute debate for scrutiny, the positive elements on both sides of the debate have been lost. It seems as though this morning, the right is still picking its jaw up off the floor following Romney’s surprise showing while the left is almost overshadowing their platform by setting themselves squarely on the offense.
Just a theory.
Here’s David “Damage Control” Axelrod on Morning Joe: