Thursday, May 31, 2012
This couldn't Happen to a More Deserving A__hole....David Axelrod...
May 31, 2012, 12:43 pm
Axelrod’s Anti-Romney Message Gets Drowned Out
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
Loud and rowdy supporters of Mitt Romney in Boston drowned out an attempt by President Obama campaign’s top strategist to attack the former Republican governor on his home turf.
In a morning news conference on the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse, David Axelrod, one of Mr. Obama’s senior strategists, tried mostly in vain on Thursday to level Mr. Obama’s latest broadside on Mr. Romney’s record as governor of the state.
Instead, he was booed, heckled and chanted down by supporters of Mr. Romney who refused to let up even for a moment as Mr. Axelrod and Democratic state lawmakers sought to make their case.
With cameras rolling, the Republican hecklers yelled “We Want Mitt!” and “Broken Record!” and held signs that said “Go Back to Chicago!” Mr. Axelrod appeared bemused but rattled by them, at one point saying: “You can shout down speakers my friends, but it’s hard to Etch A Sketch away the truth.”
That was a reference to comments by an aide to Mr. Romney who said the general election campaign would be like an Etch A Sketch, which critics said suggested that Mr. Romney would wipe away more conservative positions he took during the nominating contest. But the event on Thursday was more like a verbal brawl in Mr. Romney’s backyard.
The event was supposed to have been a secret. The campaign did not announce Mr. Axelrod’s appearance in Mr. Romney’s hometown until early Thursday morning, although word of it leaked out on Twitter late Wednesday.
Once in Boston, what had been billed as a news conference had the intensity of a late-October political rally, complete with dueling signs, noisemakers and competing chants. At one point, Democratic supporters behind Mr. Axelrod chanted: “Let him talk! Let him talk!”
Mr. Axelrod tried to stay on message, offering a ream of negative statistics about Mr. Romney’s tenure in the state. He said the state was 47th in job creation under Mr. Romney and said that government grew “at a clip of 6.5 percent.”
“This may work in the realm of leveraged buyouts and quick scores,” Mr. Axelrod said. “It may work in that world, but it’s not how you build a future.”
But Mr. Axelrod’s comments — which were mostly carried live on CNN — were hard to hear amid the din of the crowd. At one point, Mr. Axelrod responded to unclear chants from the protesters, saying that “you can’t handle the truth, my friend. You can’t handle the truth.”
Mr. Axelrod was also knocked off message by questions from reporters, who used the opportunity of his presence in Massachusetts to ask about controversies swirling around Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for Senate in the state.
Mr. Axelrod said he had no concerns about her admission that she had represented herself as a Native American to employers. But those questions were well afield of the mission of his trip to Boston, which was to highlight Mr. Romney’s record running Massachusetts.
To that end, the campaign also enlisted the support of several Democratic mayors and state lawmakers, who criticized Mr. Romney’s record while he was in office.
But they, too, were booed by the Romney crowd. Joseph A. Curtatone, the mayor of Somerville, noted that some of the hecklers were blowing bubbles at Mr. Axelrod and the other speakers.
“That’s a hell of a lot better than the smoke Mitt Romney blew at us in Massachusetts,” Mr. Curatone said. “Take note America. As governor, Mitt Romney’s approach was all about shifting costs. The story he’s telling now about his time as governor? Hey! It just doesn’t add up.”