Axelrod: Electorate unsure of Romney's 'core principles'

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President Obama's top campaign strategist David Axelrod said Sunday that Republican voters were unsure of Mitt Romney's "core principles" and had the sense "there is no principle too large for him to throw over."

"There was a poll out this week that showed him at the same 23 percent he's been throughout the race. Now, Herman Cain is leading the primary. The last poll, Rick Perry was leading it. Earlier, Michele Bachmann was doing very well. But Romney stays the same. Why? Because I think there's this question about what his core principles are," said Axelrod when asked on ABC's This Week if the White House expected Romney to be the eventual Republican nominee.

Axelrod continued to hammer the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate for the perception that he has changed his views on key issues over the course of his political career.


"He's been running for office for almost 20 years, for senator and governor of Massachusetts. Then he was a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-environmental candidate for office. Then he decided to run for president, did a 180 on all of that,” he said. “So time and time and time again, he shifts. And you get the feeling that there is no principle too large for him to throw over in pursuit of political office."

"I think if I were Governor Romney, I'd be worried about all these changes in position and how that -- how that -- what kind of message that sends to voters, not just on the Republican side, but throughout the electorate," added Axelrod.

His comments came on the heels of a Wednesday conference call with reporters where the top presidential strategist criticized the GOP front-runner as a flip-flopper.

“We’re having this call because Gov. Romney has been so brazen, frankly, in his switches of position,” Axelrod had said on Wednesday.

The Wednesday conference call had been the first time the Obama team had specifically targeted a GOP presidential contender.

Many saw the call as a sign that the Obama campaign expects to face Romney as the eventual GOP nominee, but on Sunday Axelrod would not predict the outcome of the Republican race.

"If you were, if as a political professional you'd look at it and you'd say there are two candidates who are likely to be competing at the end, and one would be Perry, and the other would be Romney, just based on the resources that they have. But this is a funny year, so I don't know," he said.

Axelrod also dismissed Texas Gov. Rick Perry's debate performances, calling the candidate "less than impressive."