By Beth Reinhard
David Axelrod is the senior strategist for President Obama’s reelection bid, and his mustachioed mug is probably the most familiar face of the campaign. After helping Obama win in 2008, Axelrod was a senior adviser in the White House. In a recent phone interview from campaign headquarters in Chicago, he defended the president’s record and addressed Mitt Romney’s emerging cash advantage. Edited excerpts follow.
NJ President Obama has been vague about what he would accomplish in his second term.
AXELROD The president believes you build a strong, sustainable economy by building a strong, viable growing middle class. You have to continue to upgrade our educational system and improve access to higher education and technical training. We have to invest in research and development and the kinds of things that will create high-end, advanced manufacturing jobs. We have to continue to open up markets all over the world for American products. We need to continue with an all-of-the-above energy policy and really push for the development of all sources of energy. Immigration reform is an unfinished piece of business. But the principal thing we need to be pursuing is a very aggressive strategy of putting people back to work.
NJ How would the president accomplish those goals with a Republican-controlled House and possibly Senate?
AXELROD They have had a policy of obstruction from the day the president arrived. When the president is reelected, it will be a rejection of the politics of obstruction. There’s this reign of terror going on in the Republican Party.