Obama strategist David Axelrod went after Republican front-runner Mitt Romney on a call with reporters Wednesday, saying his record of shifting positions is “appalling,” and that he is “hard after that tea party vote.”
While reluctant to call Romney the likely front-runner, Axelrod said “we’re having this call because Gov. Romney has been so brazen — frankly — in his switches of position.”
He said Texas Gov. Rick Perry “hasn’t exactly got the gun out of the holster,” when it comes to asserting himself in the race.
Axelrod highlighted Romney’s implication that he is opposed to extending the payroll tax cut as an example of a flip-flop that will hurt the middle class, saying the tax cut is an “essential ingredient to prevent a double-dip recession.”
“Two months ago he was equally vehement in supporting the payroll tax cut,” Axelrod said.
He added middle class voters are thinking twice about backing Romney, saying “the question of trust is — especially for the middle class at a time when people are struggling — very important.” He said voters should be asking Romney, “How can we trust who you would be?”
“They want to know that the commitments that the President makes will stay — and that hasn’t been the case with Romney.”Axelrod also minimized the significance of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to back Romney’s campaign, saying “endorsements have some value but they’re not determinative.”
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