Obama adviser rips NJ Gov. Christie for ‘bystander’ remark

President Obama’s campaign adviser David Axelrod ripped New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday for saying the president was a mere bystander to events in Washington as the economy struggles to grow and Congress fails to reduce the deficit.

“I have watched this president make some very difficult decisions, difficult politically at the beginning of this adminstration to right the financial sector, to get this economy out of the free fall that it was in, to save the auto industry,” Axelrod responded on NBC’s Meet the Press. “The candidate that he backs, Gov. Mitt Romney said he would have allowed Detroit to go bankrupt and lost a million more jobs.”

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“I don’t think he is in a position to talk about who is a bystander,” Axelrod said of Christie.

Christie had blasted the president in comments Monday in Camden, N.J. “I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well, then what the hell are we paying you for?” Christie said.

“It is a sad day in our country’s history to have a bystander in the Oval Office and that is what we have,” he had said last week.


The popular and outspoken New Jersey governor has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president.

Axelrod used his appearance to continue White House attacks on Romney and largely ignored former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who for now leads the polls in the race for the presidential nomination.

The Obama adviser defended attacks by Democrats on Romney such as a remark by Democratic Party Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) who said Romney lacks a “moral core.”

Axelrod said he “honors” Romney’s personal life and life as a leader in the Mormon church but said that his “public character” does lack a core due to flip-flopping on issues like climate change. He said that Romney as governor backed controlling greenhouse gases but now pretends like he never did. 

“They think they can just erase the past,” Axelrod said. “This is about how you behave in public. He seems to think everyday is a new day. That is not what you want in a president.”

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus used his appearance to accuse the president of engaging in class warfare. 

“He wants to turn this country into the Divided States of America,” he said.

Obama will journey to Kansas on Tuesday to deliver a major speech on the latest White House campaign motif: that the Democrats are defenders of the middle class while Republicans coddle the wealthy. 

Priebus was asked about the demise of the Herman Cain campaign due to sexual misconduct allegations and the controversy over a Dec. 27 debate being moderated by reality television star Donald Trump but he stayed out of those controversies. 

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