One of President Barack Obama’s former senior advisers said Sunday that Obama made a “mistake” last week when making a pitch to turn out voters for Democratic candidates in November.
David Axelrod, Obama’s former senior adviser, said Obama erred when he tied himself to the policies he favours — a federal minimum-wage hike, fair-pay laws, and more — and said they are “on the ballot” this fall.
“Now, I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle is pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot — every single one of them,” Obama said during a major economic speech at Northwestern University last week.
“This isn’t some official campaign speech, or political speech, and I’m not going to tell you who to vote for — although I suppose it is kind of implied.”
Obama’s line has already become fodder for Republican candidates. NBC’s “Meet the Press” played an ad from the Kansas Senate race, where incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is battling for political survival against independent businessman Greg Orman.
In many of the Senate battleground states this fall, Obama is viewed in a deeply unpopular light. Across, the nation, according to an average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, Obama’s job-approval rating sits at just 43%.
Axelrod told a “Meet the Press” panel he would “not have put that line in there.” He said he understood the message Obama was trying to convey, but he opened the door to ads like the one being played in Kansas.
“It was obvious when you saw the speech that that was not the way the clip was going” to be circulated, Axelrod said. “It was a mistake.”
Here’s the clip of Axelrod:
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