A former Obama adviser is feeling the heat from President Joe Biden’s minions after his comments on whether the 80-year-old commander-in-chief should remain in the 2024 running for the White House.
David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and now a CNN analyst and host, clarified his take on Biden’s chances to win reelection after coming under fire by the president’s allies and even some of his own family.
“It’s overreacting to say I told him to drop out,” Axelrod said in an interview, according to Politico. “I didn’t do that.”
“He’s the only one to make the decision. And if his decision is ‘no, I’m the best person to take this on,’ then he will,” added the political strategist.
But Axelrod’s reaction to brutal poll results over the weekend put him in the crosshairs with Biden’s allies.
“He’s defied [conventional wisdom] before but this will send tremors of doubt thru the party—not ‘bed-wetting,’ but legitimate concern,” Axelrod tweeted on Sunday, adding that the “stakes of miscalculation here are too dramatic to ignore.”
“Only @JoeBiden can make this decision,” Axelrod wrote. “If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?”
Only @JoeBiden can make this decision. If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 5, 2023
The viral tweets unleashed a torrent of criticism from the Biden camp though White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates simply said, “We appreciate his thoughts.”
“Man who called Biden ‘Mr Magoo’ in Aug 2019 is still at it..,” tweeted former Biden chief of staff Ron Klain, referring to Axelrod’s take during the 2020 election campaign that Biden was “kind of Mr. Magooing his way through.”
Man who called Biden “Mr Magoo” in Aug 2019 is still at it.., https://t.co/hn85Pr7kR6
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) November 5, 2023
“The biden doubters doubted in 2019,” Klain also tweeted, predicting that Biden “beat trump in 2020 and he’ll punch him out again this time.”
The biden doubters doubted in 2019 — and the nyt analytics types said that Rick Perry would beat Obama in 2011. But @JoeBiden is the kind of tough fighter that enabled him to beat trump in 2020 and he’ll punch him out again this time.
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) November 5, 2023
Former Biden White House communications director, Kate Bedingfield – who is also now drawing a paycheck from CNN – set her sights on Axelrod during a panel discussion with host Jake Tapper.
“Ax of all people knows at this moment there’s always going to be concern. Look, was that a great poll for Joe Biden? Of course not. Of course not,” she said on “The Lead” Monday.
No Democrat should be complacent about the state of polls right now and the Biden campaign certainly isn’t. But @davidaxelrod also knows as well as anyone that we’re right on time for the calls for the sitting president to step aside for another nominee – we saw it in Nov ’11 too pic.twitter.com/EUBQJuqkCq
— Kate Bedingfield (@KBeds) November 7, 2023
The president’s granddaughter fired a shot at Axelrod as well in what was beginning to look like a coordinated effort to smear him.
“Looking forward to proving the political pundits wrong… again,” Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi tweeted, along with a 2020 message she had written in which she appeared to accuse Axelrod of “being a jerk with a microphone.”
Looking forward to proving the political pundits wrong… again. https://t.co/g9EjAG3RJL
— Naomi Biden (@NaomiBiden) November 7, 2023
Senior Biden campaign adviser TJ Ducklo joined the chorus of Axelrod bashers with a post of “Morning Joe” Scarborough saying Axelrod “has been critical of Joe Biden for years.”
From @JoeNBC this morning on @Morning_Joe: “David Axelrod has been critical of Joe Biden for years…Joe Biden has been underestimated his entire career and he’s being underestimated now. This is not smart to bet against him.” pic.twitter.com/50PqRZp84S
— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) November 7, 2023
“Several Biden allies noted that while Axelrod’s comments were seen as irritating in the moment, there’s no sign they represent any broader rebellion among Obama alums,” Politico reported.
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