President Obama’s close political adviser David Axelrod accused GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney of “looking in a fun house mirror” when touting himself as an “economic heavyweight.”
On Tuesday, voters in Illinois – Axelrod’s home state – will get to decide which candidate wins the Land of Lincoln’s primary election. The feisty Democratic political operative previewed a line of attack that Obama will use if Romney does become the GOP nominee.
But Axelrod also said it is unclear which candidate GOP voters will elect to be their party’s standard-bearer in August – since Romney, the most organized, well-funded contender, has yet to cinch the nomination.
“We thought we’d have the nominee by now but every time it looks like Mr. Romney has some momentum, he gets set back, he hasn’t been able to make the sale to his own party,” Axelrod said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus however, turned the argument on Axelrod, shortly following the Democratic operative’s appearance.
Priebus noted that the Democratic primary in 2008 — between then-candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — lasted well into early summer.
“A tough primary, a little bit of drama, actually helped Barack Obama,” Priebus said.
“We put America to sleep with our primary four years ago and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton nearly gouged each others eyes out, and what happened? They won.”
As for talk of a so-called brokered convention or fears that the GOP primary could last up until the August convention, Priebus dismissed those suggestions.
“I don’t see that happening, one of these four candidates will be our nominee, we’re halfway to the nomination, only in halftime. I think we will have a nominee, fairly soon, one-two months away,” Priebus said.
“We’re not making plans for a brokered convention,” Priebus said, noting that the RNC had rules in place to deal with such a possibility.
Romney also resisted such an eventuality.
“I think the people of our party want to make sure we have a nominee that can beat Barack Obama. And I know a lot of people will talk about delegates and strategies and math and that's all very interesting to the insiders. But I think the American people want to see someone who has the leadership, skill and experience to beat the president, and a vision of conservatism that will get America on track again,” he said on Fox News Sunday.
“I want to restore the values that made this country great. President Obama is transforming us into something we wouldn't recognize. So, you know, I can't tell you exactly how the process is going to work. But I bet I'm going to become the nominee, I sure hope I'm going to become the nominee,” he added.