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Axelrod Bristles at Bushies' Criticism

By Dan Froomkin
9:52 AM ET, 02/13/2009

Youch! Here's a clip from Washington Post reporter Lois Romano's interview with senior White House adviser David Axelrod, who takes issue with former vice president Cheney's assertion that President Obama's policies are putting the nation at increased risk of a devastating attack, former senior adviser Karl Rove's endless commentary, and former chief of staff Andrew Card's declaration that by foregoing a suit jacket in the Oval Office, Obama and his aides were insufficiently respecting the presidency. (Here's the full transcript.)

Romano initially asked about Cheney's comments. Said Axelrod: "I was disappointed in the vice president's comments, not because he stated the obvious -- that there are threats that are grave -- but that he suggested that somehow the president's decisions on torture and Guantanamo would increase the likelihood of that. You know, one of the things that I've been impressed by is the graciousness that President Bush has shown during this transition period...When he left, he wished us the best, and I think that he meant that -- but apparently, the memo didn't circulate around the White House, because I've seen what I consider tasteless comments by the vice president, amazing comments by Karl Rove. You know, the last thing I think we're looking for at this juncture is advice on fiscal integrity -- or ethics -- from Karl Rove. I mean, anyone who's read the newspapers for the last eight years would laugh at that....

"I've never seen anything really like it."

And, finally, Axelrod said: "Andy Card, saying that we were somehow denigrating the presidency because we were wearing shirtsleeves in the Oval Office -- well we're wearing shirtsleeves because we have to roll up our sleeves and clean up the mess that we've inherited."

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