David Axelrod: Rick Perry Has a ‘Record of Decimation’

Aug 12, 2011 7:56am

That’s what the Obama campaign’s top political strategist told me this morning when I asked him about the latest 2012 candidate, Rick Perry. The Texas Governor made it clear his campaign will focus on his state’s record of job growth – Texas created more jobs than any other state since the recession.

“When you examine the entire record what’s happened to education in that state, what’s happened to health care in that state, it’s a record of decimation not of progress,” David Axelrod told me.

“I don’t think the picture of Texas is what people want for the country when you look at the whole array of things that happened there,” he said.

Texas’ record of job creation has more to do with profits from the oil industry, a growing military and receiving aid from the Recovery Act, according to Axelrod.

The Obama advisor spoke to me from Ames, Iowa where he was keeping a close eye on the other debate amongst the other eight candidates. He refused to bite when I asked him who won and instead painted the Republicans on stage as catering to the Tea Party.

“The most stunning thing was that moment when the moderators asked all the candidate would they accept an approach to the deficits, to the debt that would include ten parts cuts and one parts raising revenues and they all raised their hands and said ‘no.’” Axelrod said. “And really what they were doing was pledging allegiance to the Tea Party.”

And as for the question Republicans and even some Democrats have been asking the Obama administration – should the president cancel his upcoming vacation in order to deal with the troubled economy?

Axelrod doesn’t think so.

“The president is going to be working on this problem until we get some action from the Congress and, you know, he is going to be with his family but he is going to be working on these issues. And I don’t think people begrudge him that,” he said. Watch the interview here:

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