Former advisor to Barack Obama and current CNN contributor David Axelrod spoke out on Wednesday to say that President Joe Biden did not get the intelligence right on the military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and that he should admit this mistake.
“Yeah, and there’s no way to reconcile those statements and then say there’s nothing we could have done,” Axelrod said. Obviously, one thing you could have done was get the intelligence right. There were clearly screwups here. They’re not his personal screwups, but they’re on his watch.”
“So as I said the other night when he made his original speech, sometimes you just have to say we screwed up, and we’re going to fix it. We’re going to figure out why this happened, and it’s my responsibility,” he added.
“I think people would respond well to that. For some reason, I thought he was taking another bite at the apple today in this interview and that he’d come back and he’d do the part that he didn’t do the other night. Instead, he dug in more.”
“I don’t understand it,” he continued.
“I think he has a pretty strong argument on why it was time for the United States to withdraw. I think those people you talked about earlier, the vast, or the majority of Americans, agreed with him on that, but these images have been very, very striking and discouraging and sobering. I do think it’s changed people’s opinions. It’s hurting him.
You can see it in polling. The polling averages for the president over the last week have taken a pretty significant drop. I think it would be less bad if he owned up to the fact that, no, this hasn’t gone the way we expected, and we’re going to accelerate what we are doing, and we are going to male up for lost time.”
When asked about Axelrod’s comments, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden.
“There are few people I respect as much as David Axelrod in the world of politics, he’s brilliant, he’s also a great human being,” Psaki said. “But he would be the first to say there is a difference between being on the outside and speaking on television and being on the inside and the difficult choices you have to make.”
This piece was written by James Samson on August 19, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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