White House Adviser David Axelrod said Sunday the fiscal crisis is one of a handful of issues President Barack Obama plans to focus on during the next four years, and each one is an important “part of the equation.”
“We can’t just do one piece of it,” said Axelrod, referring to education, research and development, and energy.
Foreign policy is another issue going into Obama’s second term, Axelrod said, as two wars continue, unrest in the Middle East flares up, and the threat of nuclear weapons in Iran and Pakistan looms. Axelrod said the United States has to be smart about how and where it engages it’s military.
“One thing we can’t do is project force everywhere in the world,” he said. “We don’t have the resources, and it’s not a smart way to proceed.”
When NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engle, also a guest on the program, called into question Obama’s decision to not stand as an ally with Egypt and its president, Hosni Mubarak, Axelrod said, “I don’t think that the United States of America can be effective if we stand with the forces of autocracy against the yearning for freedom.”
Axelrod also addressed a comment from guest Tom Brokaw, who asked what Obama meant when he told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev the administration will have more flexibility in the second term.
Axelrod said he didn’t know what Obama meant and never talked with the president about it, adding, “They’re a player on a number of issues that are important to us, and we have to feel out the relationship with Putin, who’s being very aggressive.”
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