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Axelrod: Obama win will 'liberate' Republicans to work with president

Republicans of “good will” who want to work with President Obama will be “liberated” by his reelection in November, says Obama chief political strategist David Axelrod.

In an interview with C-SPAN, Axelrod said there are plenty of Republicans who would like to work with Obama but have been unable to because of a “kind of reign of terror” in which any act of cooperation with the president was seen as a betrayal.

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Yet Axelrod insisted there are Republicans “of good will” would would like to work with Obama.

“My belief is that when the president wins in November, we’re going to liberate these Republicans of good will,” Axelrod said.

He added that those Republicans will “blink into the light of a new day and they’re going to turn to the Grover Norquists of the world, frankly as Jeb Bush has recently, and say, ‘You know we did it your way, and frankly that was a failure for the country, and also for the Republican Party, and now we’re going to work together.’”

Norquist heads Americans for Tax Reform, which the White House and Democrats have blamed for GOP resistance to raising any taxes. The group circulates a tax pledge in which lawmakers promise not to raise taxes while in Washington.

Bush, the former governor of Florida, recently said Ronald Reagan would have had a hard time with today’s Republican party since he was willing to raise taxes in seeking cooperation from a Democratic Congress.

Norquist criticized Bush for those remarks, saying Bush’s own father lost reelection by going back on a pledge to nor raise taxes. Norquist also said Reagan had little choice since he faced a Democratic Congress and led a Republican Party that had yet to wholly embrace his small government views.

Axelrod insisted that Republicans in Washington want to work with the president but have been “throttled” because the strategy of the GOP “doesn’t permit it.”