Axelrod: Romney will 'tolerate' Trump to get his money

Axelrod went after Trump for his stance on the so-called “birther” conspiracy, which questions Obama’s birthplace and qualification to be president on that basis. Trump, a wealthy businessman and reality show host, raised the issue again on Tuesday shortly before attending a fundraiser with Romney, whom he supports in the election.

“I don’t have the requisite degrees to climb into Donald Trump’s head or even his hair, so I don’t know what motivates him,” Axelrod said in an interview set to air Wednesday night on Current TV’s “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.”

“The question is, why wouldn’t Gov. Romney repudiate those tactics,” Axelrod continued. “Why on a day when Donald Trump makes frankly a fool of himself in terms of his performance on CNN around this issue, why would he stand with him and not have anything to say about it?”

Romney told reporters on Tuesday that he shouldn’t be held accountable for everything his supporters say, and his press secretary noted Wednesday morning on MSNBC that Obama’s campaign has made the same argument when their surrogates are controversial.

“I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said Tuesday. “But I need to get to 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Axelrod in the interview referred to Romney’s comment, and offered his own take on Romney’s motives.

“I think Mitt Romney will do what he thinks is good for Mitt Romney,” he said. “He wants Donald Trump’s money and therefore he’ll tolerate whatever Donald Trump has to say.”

Trump, who is typically quick to respond to criticism through his Twitter account, had not tweeted anything about Axelrod as of the time of this posting. But earlier in the afternoon, he shot back at Obama’s campaign for a statement released by Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter that referred to the businessman as a “charlatan.”