Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Axelrod defends "marvelous" attack

On Morning Joe today, Mark Halperin pressed David Axelrod pretty hard over Democratic attacks on Mitt Romney for using the word "marvelous" to describe Paul Ryan's budget.

HALPERIN: How is it consistent with this president's desire for the election to be about big things for you, the DNC, the campaign, the White House, even the president to make fun of Mitt Romney for using the word "marvelous", to talk about what he's building in his house? How is that consistent?

AXELROD: Mark, I don't think anybody thought that the remark the president made was the essence of the speech. The essence of the speech was a very sober and detailed critique of the Republican policy.

HALPERIN: You know full well when the president makes fun of the likely Republican nominee for using the word "marvelous", it's going to get a lot of coverage, so I say again: how is that consistent with this being about big things rather than trying to paint Romney as....

AXELROD: [interrupting] ... as I said, that speech was about big things. It was covered as about big things. I didn't see one headline on that speech that made that the thrust of the speech, so you know, I think that was a small, throw-away line in the speech.

HALPERIN: Is it consistent to make fun of Mitt Romney for using the word "marvelous"?

AXELROD: Politics is filled with very serious issues.

At that point, Joe Scarborough stepped in and steered the conversation to a lighter topic.

So Axelrod claims that "I didn't see one headline on the speech that made that the thrust of the speech"?

Here are a couple headlines that were specifically spawned by the "marvelous" comment.

a. Reuters: Isn't it "marvelous"? Obama seeks to define Romney for voters.

b. Christian Science Monitor: Obama's Jab at Romney: Who describes a budget as "marvelous"?

c. USA Today: Obama, Romney and their "marvelous" clash.

d. National Journal: Obama mocks Romney's use of the word "marvelous" to describe budget.

And you could go on and on....

Here's the Axelrod/Halperin exchange.