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David Axelrod: Obama 'Irritated' by Romney's 2012 Concession Call

By    |   Wednesday, 04 February 2015 08:51 AM

Mitt Romney's 2012 Election Night concession call irritated President Barack Obama, who believed Romney insinuated he only won by getting out the black vote, former adviser David Axelrod writes in his new book.

"'You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee," the president paraphrased Romney as saying, Axelrod recalls in his book, "Believer: My 40 Years in Politics," reports The New York Daily News, which got an advance copy.

"In other words, black people. That's what he thinks this was all about," Obama said, according to Axelrod.

Romney also admitted during the call that he was surprised he lost to Obama, Axelrod writes, noting the president was "unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over."

In Netflix's 2014 documentary "Mitt," the moments before the call were captured on Romney's side, with him asking his aides if anyone had Obama's telephone number, reports The Huffington Post. The film does not show the phone call itself.

The former Massachusetts governor had been mulling a third try at the presidential nomination, but announced last week he'd decided to bow out. But before that happened, Obama mocked him over being "suddenly deeply concerned about poverty" after reports indicated Romney was considering a campaign that focused on eliminating poverty and boosting the middle class.

Axelrod's book, due for release on Feb. 10, also reveals that Obama initially had another role in mind for Hillary Clinton in 2008, when he briefly considered appointing her to the Supreme Court before instead naming her secretary of state.

In other revelations, Axelrod writes that former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was not comfortable with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and her close friendship with the Obamas, saying he didn't "want to manage the president's best friend," and tried to push her into running for Obama's former Senate seat.

However, the book says, Obama wanted her to stay in the White House and talked her into staying out of the race.

Axelrod also says that while Obama complained about Vice President Joe Biden back when they were both senators, telling him that "Biden is a decent guy, but man, that guy can just talk and talk ... It's an incredible thing to see."

And when it came to being a vice president, Obama wanted no part of that, Axelrod said.

The president rejected that idea in 2004, reports The Daily News, telling Axelrod in a private conversation that he couldn't "imagine wanting that job. I'd rather come back and run for governor after a term than be somebody's vice president."

Obama was also desperate to get then-Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, to support Obamacare, joking that if she voted for it they could call it "the Snowe plan," and that she could come live at the White House while "Michelle and I will get an apartment," Axelrod writes.

Axelrod said he also got advice from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009 about Obama's demeanor, with Bloomberg saying that he saw the president greet people at the golf course, "but he doesn't feel it."

Obama also got a peek at the iPhone in 2007 while in a private meeting with Apple's Steve Jobs, and said he'd "buy a boatload of Apple stock" if it were legal for him to do so, as "this thing is going to be really big," said Axelrod.

Axelrod also claims then-President Bill Clinton offered him the position of communications director during his first presidential campaign in 1992, but the job went to George Stephanopoulos when he turned it down.

However, he claims he tried to limit Hillary Clinton's comments to the press in 1992, advising that he would not let her answer questions after California's Jerry Brown accused Bill Clinton of funneling money to her law firm for state business.

Instead, she took questions and made her famous comment about how she could have "stayed home and baked cookies and had teas ... But what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession."

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Mitt Romney's 2012 Election Night concession call irritated President Barack Obama, who believed Romney insinuated he only won by getting out the black vote, former adviser David Axelrod writes in his new book.
david axelrod, believer, barack obama, mitt romney, 2012, call
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 08:51 AM
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