David Axelrod was on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, where he discussed President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and potential Republican presidential candidates that Obama might face in the general election. Here are some highlights:
On Jon Huntsman seeking Republican nomination:
It was a little surprising to me because when we were in Shanghai we got a chance to talk. And he was very effusive, this was in the fall of 2009, about what the president was doing. He was encouraging on health care, he was encouraging on a whole range of issues. He was a little quizzical about what he was going on in his own party. And you got the strong sense that he was going to wait until 2016 for the storm to blow over.And obviously circumstances change. So I was surprised when he emerged as a candidate. But certainly I take him seriously.
Grading the current Republican field:
I'll leave it to the pundits to grade that. I kind of agree with the conventional wisdom. I think Congresswoman Bachmann, who was relatively unknown, probably did herself some good there. I thought Governor Romney for what he did, did fine.But we were through 28 or something of these things in our Democratic race. So I know this is very early, and I think it's the later debates that become more revealing. And of course we've got some candidates who weren't there who are about to join the race. So that will add to the fight.
Consistently attacking Pres. Obama, but offering little solutions:
... ultimately people are going to ask for answers. And they're going to ask hard questions. If you're Governor Romney and you say I'm going to turn this economy around, I've got the answers. You don't offer them. Then people have a right to say why is it that your state was 47th in the country in job creation when you were governor? If you're Governor Pawlenty and you say we've got to clean up the fiscal mess, people have a right to ask why did you leave your state with a $6.2 billion deficit?