Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod on Sunday punched back at Republicans who have seized on the president's remarks that "the private sector is doing fine," arguing that the GOP was trying to distract from the president's jobs plan.
"They're more eager to have a debate over an out-of-context clause in his remarks than the substance of what he said," Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Axelrod repeatedly parlayed questions about whether the private sector economy was "fine," conceding only that "it's certainly doing better than the public sector." Later, the former White House official said the tax and jobs plans advocated by the president would help stimulate the economy in both the private and public sector. The small business tax cut will help the private sector. The refinancing will help the private sector. There's a series of steps we can take right now to undergird the economy," Axelrod said.
He also attacked Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for suggesting states did not need to add more public sector employees during a campaign stop Friday in Iowa.
"We don't need any more teachers? 250,000 teachers have lost their jobs… What planet is he living on where he thinks we can take these kinds of hits in our education system?" Axelrod said.
Romney's campaign, which released a new web video Sunday mocking the president's "doing fine" comments, said Sunday Axelrod "couldn't defend" Obama's remarks.