Democratic campaign strategist David Axelrod gave Republican Mitt Romney's campaign a boost Sunday when he said that the choice in the general election was between a dynamic growth economy or the current job-killing economy — the one overseen by his boss President Barack Obama over the last three years.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Axelrod told host Chris Wallace that “the choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we are on, where a fewer and fewer number of people do very well, and everybody else is running faster and faster just to keep pace.”
Republicans wasted no time in putting the clip on YouTube, titling the video “Obama adviser David Axelrod makes the case for Mitt Romney for President.”
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A chastened Axelrod later elaborated on his statement, saying that the road he was talking about represented “the same failed policies that were so disastrous in the last decade” instead of those of the Obama administration.
In the same interview, Axelrod also conceded that Obama remains vulnerable to defeat by presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in November. He also faced a challenge from Wallace dealing with Obama's tax returns. Axelrod said the president was not going to donate the rest of his "fair share" of taxes to help pay down the deficit.
“Of course it’s [the election] going to be close, but at the end of the day, I think the American people want to choose a vision that holds out the greatest possible opportunity for them and for the middle class … that will give them their best chance,” Axelrod told Wallace.
Obama and wife Michelle paid a rate of 20.5 percent on their gross income of $789,674. This rate falls between the 30 percent that the “Buffett rule” proposes that those in similar economic situations pay, and the approximate 14 percent Romney paid last year.
Obama’s secretary, Anita Decker, was confirmed by the White House to have paid a rate slightly higher than that of the president, based on her $95,000 salary, the Chicago Tribune pointed out.
“I take it that he’s not going to contribute money to the Treasury to help with the deficit,” Wallace pointed out to Axelrod, referencing the gap between Obama’s proposals and the amount of taxes he paid.
“That’s not the way we operate our tax system, OK? We don’t run bake sales. It’s not about volunteerism. We all kick in according to the system,” Axelrod said. “. . . the issue is that the system permits it and he [Romney] would perpetuate that and he would enhance it.”
"The fact that Mitt Romney pays 14 percent on a $20 million income is not the issue. The issue is that the system permits it, and he [Romney] would perpetuate that, and he would enhance it," Axelrod said.
"Nobody can argue that it makes sense for people who are making $1 million a year or more to pay less than the average, middle-class worker in this country.”
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