Axelrod to leave White House in early 2011
White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday that he will leave the White House in early 2011 to begin preparations for President Obama's 2012 reelection bid.
"Sometime in the spring -- late winter, early spring -- I'll be coming back here to Chicago and beginning to work on that project," Axelrod told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
Axelrod has been with Obama since the beginning of his presidency, after guiding Obama to victory in 2008 as his chief strategist.
Obama is widely expected to run for reelection.
Axelrod also said that Obama remains opposed to a permanent extension of all of the Bush tax cuts. But he did not rule out a temporary agreement that would extend the middle-class tax cuts, which the White House wants, and the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which Republicans want.
When asked directly on Fox News Sunday about whether the president would be okay with a temporary extension of all cuts, Axelrod said, "Chris, I'm not going to negotiate with you on this program."
He summarized Obama's position: "We cannot go the extra step and permanently cut taxes primarily for millionaires and billionaires at a cost of $700 billion over the next 10 years alone."
The Huffington Post reported this week that the White House was softening its position on a temporary extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy -- a report that was met with a great deal of resistance on the left.
The White House has said repeatedly that it's vital that the middle-class tax cuts be extended, but Republicans have stood firm on the tax cuts on incomes above $250,000 per couple, and the White House has said it is willing to at least hear out Republican leaders.
| November 14, 2010; 10:09 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency, Eye on 2012
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