Obama strategist sees Republican "reign of terror" in Congress

WASHINGTON Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:16am EDT

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod talks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 6, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod talks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. Congress are under a "reign of terror" imposed by the party's conservative wing that also has pushed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the right, President Barack Obama's senior campaign strategist said on Sunday.

David Axelrod, in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" program, cited the Obama administration's plans for immigration reform as an example of Republican intransigence in Congress.

The political process in Washington should not be "monolithic opposition to everything the chief executive wants to do as a political strategy," Axelrod said, adding that an "implacable group of Republicans" had blocked any possibility of immigration reform.

"I think there are a lot of Republicans in Congress who want to cooperate ... but they're in the thralls of this reign of terror from the far right that has dragged the party to the right," he said.

"Governor Romney and the party have gone way off to the right," he added.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Axelrod said that if Obama is re-elected, some Republicans would be more willing to work with him.

Axelrod said Romney, the former Massachusetts governor in line to be the Republican challenger to Obama's re-election in the November 6 election, has nothing new to offer voters.

"People don't know Mitt Romney very well," he said on CNN. "They see a businessman. They hope he has new ideas. When they find out what his ideas are, slashing taxes at the top for the very wealthy ... they're going to think, 'This is very familiar. We've tried this. This was a big failure.'"

Axelrod said Romney's campaign for the Republican nomination had been a negative one, based on attacking his opponents rather than spelling out ideas.

"When he does, I think people are going to judge them for what they are, which is backward-looking and a repeat of what got us into this mess in the first place," he added.

(Editing by Will Dunham)

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Comments (29)
Innocentious wrote:
wow, so what is Obama going to run on? Ideas? Success? lol.

Apr 22, 2012 12:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
justamaz wrote:
Axelrod will say anything, lie about anything for his objectives. I wonder if anyone sane takes him seriously. “Reign of terror”, give me a break.

Apr 23, 2012 1:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
leroyred wrote:
This is like calling the kettle black. They both are at fault. I also seem to find more proposals from the Republicans than Obama. I don’t see ether side doing much compromise.

Apr 23, 2012 2:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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