Axelrod: Pro-Biden group's ad 'tasteless'
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David Axelrod on Wednesday panned the first television ad from a group urging Vice President Biden to jump into the 2016 presidential race, describing it as "tasteless."
 
The Draft Biden super-PAC's emotional ad uses audio of Biden talking about his two sons and how they helped him find a purpose in his life after his wife and daughter were killed in a 1972 car crash.
 
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The 90-second spot shows black-and-white photos of Biden with his family, including his elder son Beau, 46, who died in May after battling brain cancer.
 
“Things can change in a heartbeat — I know,” Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report Dems see huge field emerging to take on Trump Lawmakers send McCain well wishes after cancer diagnosis MORE says in the ad. “My dad’s definition of success is when you look at your son or daughter and realize they turned out better than you — and they did.”

The spot then ends with a plea: “Joe, run.”

"Am I alone in finding this Draft Biden ad tasteless? It's powerful, but exploitative. Can't believe he'd approve," Axelrod tweeted, linking to an article about the ad. 
 
Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama who worked with Biden in the White House, has also pushed back on reports that Biden leaked details of Beau's desire for him to run for president before he died.

“I just don’t buy into the interpretation that he would try and essentially politicize what was one of the most horrific events of his life,” Axelrod said Tuesday, according to CNN.

Draft Biden's Josh Alcorn, a former Biden presidential campaign staffer and a senior aide to Beau Biden when he was Delware attorney general, defended the ad.

"I worked for Beau for a very long time. If this ad were at all problematic, I never would have signed off on it," Alcorn said in a statement to The Hill.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to take sides.

"He is certainly entitled to have that reaction," he said of Axelrod on Wednesday. "When I first saw the ad my reaction is different. That doesn't mean he is not entitled to his reaction.

"I found it compelling as well," Earnest continued. "Certainly, Vice President Biden has one of the most powerful stories in American politics."

"I haven't spoken to the president about this issue today," he added, sidestepping a question about Obama's view on the controversy.

This story was updated at 3:19 p.m.