The PJ Tatler

Axelrod: Romney Message is 'I'm Not Barack Obama, Therefore Elect Me'

President Obama’s senior campaign adviser this morning on CNN’s State of the Union accused Mitt Romney of running a campaign “predicated on the negative.”

“I’m not Barack Obama, therefore elect me,” David Axelrod said of the campaign messaging. “And I’m a businessman, so I know how to fix the economy. Well, if that’s the experience he’s running on, then, of course, that experience is going to be scrutinized.”

“Harry Truman had a plaque on his desk saying the buck stops here. If Mitt Romney became president he would have a placard on his desk saying the buck stops there,” Axelrod said of the recent talking point over when Romney left Bain Capital.

Axelrod said that even Romney has been using legal tax shelters overseas, Obama wouldn’t do that because “he looks at this through a different lens.”

“But we don’t even know the scope of it,” Axelrod said. “…And I can only conclude that they think with all these Republicans asking him to release these returns, that whatever is in those returns would be more damaging to his campaign than simply not releasing them.”

Addressing the Bain charges, Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said that Romney took a leave of absence from the company to “go save the Olympics.”

“You know, there may have been thought at the time that he could be part time. It was not part time. The Olympics was in a shambles. There was corruption. There was — the International Olympic Committee was going to pull the Olympics from the United States of America which would have been a huge embarrassment. Because of Mitt Romney’s leadership skills he was called on to do it,” Gillespie said.

“He took a leave of absence and, in fact, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.”

“He left a life he loved to go to Salt Lake City to save the Olympics for a country he loves more, and somehow Chicago, in classic Chicago-style politics, the Obama campaign is trying to make this something sinister,” Gillespie continued. “It’s not. It’s patriotic and it’s leadership.”

Of the tax returns, Gillespie said Romney would release this year’s and last year’s.

“And that’s the standard that Senator McCain as Republican nominee in the last election said was the relevant standard. It’s the standard that Senator John Kerry as the Democratic nominee said was the standard,” he said. “And we are going to release them. And that’s above and beyond what the law requires, by the way.”