The Obama Quote Republicans Can’t Stop Repeating

What a difference words make when they are spoken by President Obama.

— -- What a difference 28 words make when they are spoken by the president of the United States.

A few sentences uttered recently by President Obama are fast-becoming the defining talking point of the 2014 election season for GOP candidates across the country.

"I am not on the ballot this fall ... Michelle’s pretty happy about that,” Obama said during a speechto business students at Northwestern University. “But make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot -- every single one of them."

It didn't take long for Republicans to use the president's own words against their Democratic opponents in debates, campaign ads and stump speeches.

By the next morning Pat Roberts, Scott Brown and Mitch McConnell had released new campaign ads featuring the Obama remarks to attack their opponents.

Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton also used the quote at an event last weekend to link his opponent's voting record to the president's policies.

The quote has been a popular go-to line in debates too, and was used by Tillis and Georgia Republican nominee David Perdue in Senate debates this week.

"It was a mistake," Axelrod said.

When White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked during a briefing if he agreed with Axelrod's assessment he replied, "Well, I guess the short answer is no."

ABC's Erin Dooley contributed to this report.