David Axelrod admitted Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the multiplying WikiLeaks dumps are “embarrassing” and “irritating” for Hillary Clinton, although he doesn’t think the revelations contained in those emails will be enough to cause her downfall.
Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama who served as the chief strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns, discussed Clinton’s ongoing scandals and the threat posed to her campaign. Although he said that the “odds are heavily, heavily in her favor,” Axelrod admitted the leaked emails were nonetheless damaging.
“So there is stuff in there that is embarrassing, irritating, and you may see them as disqualifying. I don’t think most voters will.”
“Look, I don’t think there’s any campaign in existence that would want all of its internal fulminations and discussions released in public. That includes the Trump campaign and any other campaign,” Axelrod told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham. “So there is stuff in there that is embarrassing, irritating, and you may see them as disqualifying. I don’t think most voters will.”
When Ingraham pressed Axelrod to admit that the media at large have covered endlessly for Clinton while unearthing everything they possibly could to discredit Donald Trump, Axelrod agreed the media has been biased.
“I think you could make the case that there are places in the media where there’s been a piling … on Trump,” Axelrod said.
Ingraham pressed Axelrod whether the media would be tiptoeing around the WikiLeaks stories if revelations about Clinton’s conflicts of interest had been about Trump instead.
“But if this were the Trump campaign … are you telling me that you guys wouldn’t be making hay out of this? I mean, for any type of appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest?” Ingraham asked.
Axelrod candidly responded, “I think if Trump were secretary of state and raising money for the Trump Foundation, no, I don’t think any of that would be tolerated.”
Insisting that a presidential candidate should wish for a “mandate” legitimizing his or her successful election, Ingraham said that a mandate should begin “on an ethical plane.”
“And I think Trump, given some of his self-inflicted errors – he’s going to have a hurdle if he should pull out a surprise victory here. And I think Hillary Clinton also has the same thing,” Ingraham told Axelrod. “I mean, she could very well win, but tell me the mandate you think she has if she wins – after this campaign, given all the things that we’ve learned.”
Axelrod responded that one way to measure a candidate’s mandate lies in “the size of the margin of your victory” – even if ethical issues have plagued candidate during the election season.
“Both candidates are operating here in a situation where equal numbers of Americans by percentages have doubts about their trustworthiness. And that’s an issue she’s going to have to deal with,” Axelrod admitted. “And I think they have to posit how they’re going to try and allay that concern.”
When Ingraham asked Axelrod to rate Clinton against Obama in terms of how well she has performed politically, Axelrod skirted a direct answer while heaping praise on Obama.
“Look, this is not her strength … She’s not a natural campaigner. These big arenas – it’s not her venue,” Axelrod offered, before adding of Obama, “I knew almost instantly when I started working with him that this guy had extraordinary gifts. I mean, he is, you know – you know when you’re working with a thoroughbred.”
According to Axelrod, Clinton – with all her unsavoriness and ethical dilemmas – is by no means a political “thoroughbred.”