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Axelrod slams charges from Bachmann on war policy as 'nonsense'

David Axelrod dismissed Republican charges that the president is putting politics ahead of military considerations, calling the accusations “nonsense.”

President Obama’s top political adviser was responding to Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), who referred to him as “General Axelrod” at the GOP presidential debate on Wednesday night.

“I think that’s nonsense and I think the president has more than proven himself as commander in chief,” Axelrod said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

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“We’ve been on a track since the beginning of the administration to withdraw troops in a responsible way — that’s what we’ve done. And so it really has nothing to do with me.”
Bachmann routinely argues the president defers to his political strategists on military matters, and at Wednesday's debate she said this extends to economic issues as well.

“President Obama’s plan for job creation has absolutely nothing to do with the true people who know how to create jobs,” Bachmann said. “He should really be going to job creators if he wants to know how to create jobs. Instead, he continues to go to a General Axelrod in Chicago to look for his orders to figure out how to deal with the economy.”

Bachmann is not the first Republican to make this charge. In October, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on "Fox News Sunday," “Iraq and Afghanistan is being run out of Chicago, not Washington, in terms of decisions.”

“That’s simply not true,” Axelrod continued Friday. “We’ve been steadily criticized. Some of those same Republicans criticized the president’s strategy in Libya — that turned out pretty well. Some of them originally said he wasn’t going to be tough enough on al Qaeda, and I think that’s proven not to be the case. I wouldn’t take these criticisms terribly seriously — it’s politics.”

In October, Obama fulfilled a campaign promise that he would withdraw all U.S troops from Iraq by the end of the year, although he had reportedly been looking for a way to keep a small presence in the country.

The agreement to withdraw was originally negotiated under the George W. Bush administration in 2008.