The discussion today with guest David Axelrod, former senior advisor to the President who now leads his reelection campaign, yesterday included whether the President put forward a proposal on cutting entitlements:
MR. GREGORY: But we’re not dealing with the big drivers of the debt, as you know. The debt commission that the president convened is not advice that he acted on.
And the reality is that the fiscal situation is dire. If we’re not dealing with entitlements–what, you talk about shared sacrifice, would the President…
MR. AXELROD: Listen, the…
MR. GREGORY: Wait a second. He–there was a stimulus plan. There was a new healthcare
entitlement, but there was nothing dealing with the big drivers of the day.
MR. AXELROD: The President made clear in that speech, as he did to Speaker Gingrich last summer, that he is willing to do a grand bargain, a, a large deal to deal with our deficits. But understand, Senator Simpson put forward a proposal. He was impaneled by the president. He and Mr. Bowles put, put forward a proposal that would have called for significant new revenues, primarily by asking more of upper income Americans. And the Republican Party said, no, we will not do that. And so we have to have a balanced way forward.
Gregory was asking whether the President had taken any action on cutting entitlements. Axelrod said only that that Pres. Obama was ‘willing to do a grand bargain, but the campaign advisor did not say the President actually went beyond talking about possible entitlement cuts.
Though Republicans may have blocked any legislation, that doesn’t address Gregory’s question, asking, we believe, whether any specific legislative proposal came from the White House.
On Romney’s role at Bain Capital, Axelrod said, “He has a great track record of creating wealth for himself and his partners … and he’s done it by closing a thousand plants and stores and offices around the country.”
We could not find evidence of the closing of that many businesses.
Axelrod also dodged answering a question about the jobs added by Bain:
“…that number’s been shifting around quite a bit, as you know. Governor
Romney’s offered several different numbers there. But the point is, his philosophy suggests that his emphasis is on creating profit for himself and his, and his partners and his investors, not creating jobs.”
Axelrod danced around several questions and gave an unsupported number of buildings he said were closed by Bain. And some of those closings occurred after Romney left the company. As for the emphasis on profit Axelrod mentioned, that’s the focus of most companies.