By Sam Youngman - 07/16/10 04:57 PM EDT
President Obama’s top strategist said Wall Street reform will help Democrats win seats in November by painting the GOP in a negative light.
David Axelrod told reporters that the breakdown of votes on the bill, which Obama will sign next week, indicates “there is a clear, clear choice in November between folks who want to repeal and repeat the mistakes of the past ... and those of us who are trying to chart a better course for this country.” Axelrod said the legislation provides “great currency” for Democrats to spend politically.
Democrats are worried about losing the House or even the Senate given the party’s dismal poll numbers and the nation’s rocky economy. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs caused a political storm within his party this week when he acknowledged a GOP victory was possible.
But Axelrod suggested the Wall Street bill will play to his party’s strengths.
He joined Obama in praising the three Republican senators who crossed party lines to vote for the financial reform bill, but said the overwhelming majority of Republican lawmakers have “basically opposed it all.”
“I think that tells you exactly what side of this argument they’re on,” Axelrod said. “So I think there’s great currency in this.” Axelrod blasted House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for pledging to repeal the bill.
“This is the same person who said that financial reform was shooting an ant with a nuclear weapon,” Axelrod said. “Well, as the president said ... this is the ant that almost ate the economy. To misread what’s going on out there so dramatically is kind of stunning.”