David Axelrod backtracks after calling for Biden to resign

 November 8, 2023

Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod is doing damage control after he lost his cool and urged Joe Biden to resign. 

Axelrod grabbed headlines earlier this week with his flighty response to a sobering New York Times poll that showed Joe Biden losing re-election to Donald Trump.

Axelrod backtracks...

The poll showed Biden losing to Trump in five battleground states - Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, and Pennsylvania - and leading in just one, Wisconsin.

The startling results reignited doubts among Democrats about Biden's electability. Axelrod was quick to share those concerns in a hand-wringing series of tweets.

"Only @JoeBiden can make this decision. If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it's in HIS best interest or the country's?" Axelrod wrote.

Later, Axelrod sought to backtrack in an interview with Politico.  

“It’s overreacting to say I told him to drop out,” he told Politico. "I didn’t do that.”

“He’s the only one to make the decision. And if his decision is ‘no, I’m the best person to take this on,’ then he will,” Axelrod added.

Saying the quiet part out loud

After the story was published, Axelrod complained that Politico put words in his mouth.

"Contrary to a piece in @Politico, now amplified in @Axios, I haven't changed one word, one syllable, one comma from my posts on Sunday," he said. 

No offense, Dave, but the country heard you loud and clear the first time.

Axelrod is not the only Democrat to harbor these fears, but he's one of a few to speak them aloud. Team Biden isn't pleased, but they dismissed the fretful tweeting as nothing new.

"Nothing new"

“Axe is a little bit of a special case in terms of how unhelpful people consider him to be,” said one former Biden aide. “It’s not like it’s some incipient new dynamic. It’s the kind of thing he’s been doing for years."

In any case, Axelrod's spirits have been lifted by the results of Tuesday's elections. Republicans underperformed in Kentucky and Virginia and lost an abortion referendum in Ohio.

While Republicans traded blows over whether abortion or Donald Trump was to blame, Axelrod said the answer is both.

"Trump unleashed primal forces within the @GOP and in every election since, Rs have reaped the whirlwind. Tonight was no exception. The abortion issue is a lead weight on the party but it's part of a larger patina of extremism," he wrote.

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