From CNN's State of the Union, David Axelrod responds to Mitt Romney's carping that the President is taking too long to make a decision on troop level
From CNN's State of the Union, David Axelrod responds to Mitt Romney's carping that the President is taking too long to make a decision on troop levels in Afghanistan. Axelrod should have told King to ask Mittens when those 'brave sons' of his were going to sign up to go over there the next time he interviews him since he's so terribly concerned about sending more troops.
KING: As you know, conservatives have been critical of the president's policy review, saying, ‘why is it taking so long?’. The former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney gave a speech this week in which he said, not only why is it taking so long for the president to decide, but he also said why is David Axelrod, his top political advisor involved in these deliberations? Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I find it incomprehensible and inexcusable that this president invites David Axelrod into national security meetings. Polls and politics have no place at that table. [...] He is the commander-in-chief. What has he been doing? Do you realize he carried out more than 30 campaign visits in this last season, for various Democrats? While he can't make up his mind on Afghanistan, or have enough time to meet with generals. He is out there campaigning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's take them in order. Why is David Axelrod deserve a seat at that table? And why is it taking so long?
AXELROD: Well, first of all, let's be clear. David Axelrod does not have a seat at that table. I have observed these discussions because, as I am today, I have to help communicate the message of the administration. And so it is helpful for me to hear. I have not said a word in any of those meetings.
Now let's take the second part. Governor Romney has to choose one argument or another. Either he has to say he is not paying attention or he has to say he is taking too long because he has been involved in a rigorous review. The president has had hours and hours and hours of meetings with his military commanders, with his national security team, to run through every aspect of this, in order to get it right.
And we've seen in the past what happens when we don't do that; when we don't do the necessary preparations. And he is determined to get Afghanistan right. It is something that Secretary Gates supports. It is something that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff supports; General McChrystal has been supportive of this process.
You know, I know that Governor Romney has never had responsibility for any decision akin to this, so he just may not be familiar with all that it entails. But I think the American people are being well served by a process that is assiduous and in which every aspect of this is considered. Because, after all, lives of American servicemen are involved here. An enormous investment on the part of the American people, we ought to get it right.