David Axelrod, senior adviser to the Obama campaign, was on the defense the morning after the first presidential debate in which most pundits seem to agree that Mitt Romney turned in a better performance than President Obama.
“He delivered his lines well,” Axelrod said of Romney before charging the Republican candidate with lying.
“The problem isn’t with his performance. The problem is with his underlying theories and some fundamental dishonesty that we saw last night,” Axelrod said on Morning Joe Thursday. "I give him an F for being honest with the American people."
Axelrod, a longtime adviser to the president, said the Obama re-election campaign would “continue to prosecute this case,” over the next 30 days before the election, but also called on the media to fact check some of Romney’s comments last night, particularly on his tax, education, and health care plans (some of which is already happening.)
“You guys have an obligation as well to check some of these allegations,” he said. “Everyone was very dazzled by the fact that Mitt Romney came in with some well-rehearsed lines, but now we have to sit back and say, 'What exactly is it that he said and was it true?'”
Asked by host Joe Scarborough why the president didn’t make that case if that’s what he believed, Axelrod tried to take the high road.
“I understand there was a hunger for us to attack Romney more personally than the president did last night,” he allowed. “The president was talking to the American people…treating the American people like adults.”
Axelrod said the president would “review” his performance and “if he wants to make some changes in the next debate he will do so.”
There are more debates to come, he argued.