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Axelrod says new White House economic initiatives will 'make a difference'

President Obama’s senior campaign strategist David Axelrod on Sunday defended the suite of initiatives Obama rolled out last week against allegation that they’re too modest to help people struggling in the ailing economy.

Obama, hitting Capitol Hill Republicans for inaction on his broad jobs legislation, announced executive actions to help debt-ridden students, homeowners with underwater mortgages, veterans struggling to find work and small businesses.

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The programs don’t need Capitol Hill approval.

“There is no panacea but if you are one of the millions of homeowners who can’t refinance their homes because their home values have dropped, even though they have made their payments every month, it is not a small thing it is a big thing,” Axelrod, appearing on CNN’s "State of the Union," said of the anti-foreclosure efforts.

He also defended the executive actions more broadly. “It is easy to sit in Washington and make these judgments but if you are out there in the economy these things do make a difference,” Axelrod said.

But he also acknowledged the depth of the economic problems in noting there is no “silver bullet.”

“The problems we got into were years in the making, they are deep, they are complicated and they will require a sustained perseverance and lots of ideas,” he said. “There is no silver bullet for them, and so you have to keep chipping away at this problem and that is what he is doing.”

Axelrod accused the GOP of pursuing "failed" strategies like deregulating Wall Street and tax cuts for the rich, and chided Capitol Hill Republicans for failing to act on Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan that focuses on infrastructure and other efforts to aid the sour economy.

“Are they willing to tear down the economy in order to tear down the president, or are they going to cooperate?” Axelrod said of Republicans.

This post was updated at 9:42 a.m.