White House senior advisor David Axelrod made it clear on Sunday that President Obama has made no commitment to vetoing spending bills that contain earmarks despite calls from fiscal hawks for the president to make that pledge.

Axelrod suggested it may be too late in the year for the president to refuse his signature on bills that contain pork.

"Obviously, this is very late in the game in terms of budgeting and keeping the functions of government operating," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "One of the problems is that these things come embedded in bills that have to be signed."

ADVERTISEMENT
Axelrod said this is one reason the president supports the "line-item veto," which could allow him to cut earmarks from a bill without tossing the entire thing.

"I hope while the Republicans are talking about reforming earmarks, they'll also give the president this authority so he could excise those things and they aren't held -- and larger bills aren't held hostage to earmarks," he said.

The president sees efforts by Congressional Republicans to ban earmarks as a positive sign, according to Axelrod.

"We are pleased with the movement toward doing away with these earmarks," he said, noting that earmarks have become a "symbol of waste" and adding that Congress "should go the final step" to cut them out.

Still, Axelrod managed to fit in a shot at the GOP record on pork.

"When the Republicans were last in charge, earmarks exploded to 16,000 in one year alone," he said. "Democrats have cut that in half."