David Axelrod Meet the Press Interview: We Always Said It Was Going to Be a Close Race


On the eve of the critical and decisive final presidential debate on foreign policy, David Axelrod, President Barack Obama's senior advisor, sat with David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press to talk Iran, Libya and how close the race between the president and his Republican challenger has become. 

"The president has traveled the world forming a coalition that has permitted us to escalate sanctions on Iran. When he came into office, the U.S. was isolated on this issue, and now the world is with us," claimed Axelrod when asked about the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions. "We've brought Iran's economy to its knees. The sanctions are working," he added. 

When asked about the 9/11 Libya attacks, particularly Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's assertion that "we are witnessing the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy" Axelrod said Ryan's statement is "nonsense" and said the president has called the Benghazi attack "an act of terror" while vowing to investigate and bring justice to the four Americans killed. He also blasted Romney for "exploiting the issue to score political points."

Gregory then asked Axelrod what he thought about Senator Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) assertion that President Obama "lacks an agenda for the next four years." Axelrod said the president has a plan to build an education system that's "second to none," and that he also plans on developing not only oil and gas but also clean and renewable energy sources for America. He added Obama wants to rebuild manufacturing by giving tax breaks to companies that invest in the U.S. as opposed to the ones that outsource jobs. And, of course, "ask the wealthy to pay a little more."  

On the close state of the race, Axelrod said, "we always knew it was going to be a close race." He then highlighted Obama's "8-point lead in Iowa and other battleground states" as well as the Obama/Biden ticket supposed advantage in early voting. "This is a better indicator than [these] polls which honestly are all over the map."