Some days, it doesn’t pay to get out of bed and have that first cup of Morning Joe. David Axerlrod’s day got off to a rough start on the MSNBC show, which pleased the GOP enough to promote his appearance. In one segment, Joe Scarborough challenges Axelrod to explain why twice as many voters think Barack Obama has conducted a negative campaign than Mitt Romney (with even more calling it a tie). Axelrod’s answer? Mitt Romney has been so relentlessly negative that people blame it on Obama. No, seriously:
It didn’t get any easier for Axelrod when Scarborough asked Axelrod about leaks from the Obama administration. Axelrod tries to offer “distractions,” as Scarborough called them when upbraiding Axelrod for trying to avoid the question. Axelrod insists that Obama never “authorized” the leak of classified information, which is hardly a ringing denial about leaks from the White House:
The Hill notices a change in position in this dodge:
“I can tell you that the president of the United States did not leak classified information, as Mitt Romney suggested yesterday, and he didn’t authorize the leak of information, as Mitt Romney suggested yesterday,” Axelrod told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Axelrod’s statements are a shift from previous remarks where he denied that the leaks originated from anyone at the White House. “There were obvious leaks, but they weren’t from the White House,” he said in an interview in June.
Meanwhile, the Olympics ad that both Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski derided at the end of this interview came from Obama’s super-PAC, Priorities USA Action, called “Romney’s Gold.” Axelrod denied any knowledge of it, and he’d be unable to do what Scarborough suggests — advise Bill Burton to pull it — because Team Obama can’t coordinate with the super-PACs. It is pretty cheesy and amateurish, though:
Seriously? They’ve been hammering the Swiss bank account and “outsourcing” issue for months. Maybe Obama’s supporters think they’ll get more traction by beating this to death, but so far they’ve wasted tens of millions of dollars to end up with the status quo ante. And really, not even that; the relentless personal attacks on Romney’s wealth has completely eroded Obama’s favorability and made him the ugly, angry candidate in the race.
Finally, back to Axelrod. During his appearance on the show, Mark McKinnon asked Axelrod about the “you didn’t build that” attacks launched by Republicans, and Axelrod didn’t have much of an answer, according to NBC’s own write-up of the appearance:
Mark McKinnon on MSNBC’s Morning Joe asked Obama adviser David Axelrod, “We have a saying, ‘A hit dog barks, and it sounds like you’re barking, so does that mean you’re hit?” It’s a great way to put it, and it’s likely the case. Axelrod tried to downplay they campaigns’ hyper reaction. But it was a hyper reaction.
Looks like a bad morning for Axelrod … and another bad month for Team Obama.