With thanks to Rush Limbaugh’s site, here’s a link to two minutes and forty seconds’ video of the Grand Master of Dodging the Question, David Axelrod. FoxNews’ Chris Wallace tried to pin him down about whether Mr. Obama met with his security team after the Benghazi attack, prior to leaving for the campaign trail, Las Vegas, etc. Watch how Axelrod does not answer what Wallace asks of him. There’s no question that the man is brilliant, a powerful speaker, and good at thinking quickly on his feet. He’s also one of the more slippery subjects I’ve watched at avoiding a direct, truthful response to a concise pointed question.
With thanks to Rush’s transcriber here’s some of the actual conversation:
RUSH: Chris Wallace grilled Axelrod on Libya and Romney on Fox News Sunday yesterday. Chris Wallace said, “The president made a statement, and he went off to a fundraiser, or to a campaign stop in Nevada. Now, before he went to the fundraiser in Nevada, did he meet with his National Security Council, try to sort out these shifting stories? Because the State Department said they never said it was a spontaneous demonstration, never said it was a video. Never said that. Never said they had that kind of intel. Did he meet with the National Security Council before he went campaigning in Nevada?”
AXELROD: I assure you that the president was in contact with all those who had information and responsibility in the national security chain about this incident. Again, let me stress, there isn’t anyone on this planet who feels a greater sense of responsibility for our diplomats, for our service people, who takes this more personally than the president of the United States.
Translation: I’m not going to answer the question. You should feel sorry for the President. He’s the real victim here.
RUSH: …So Chris Wallace says, “Do you really believe, Mr. Axelrod, do you really believe that the concern over Libya is just politics that has been ginned up by the Romney campaign?”
AXELROD: I refer you back to the famous 47% tape in the spring where Governor Romney told in private, told his supporters that he was waiting for a crisis, waiting for an incident to jump in on national security, and he did. He jumped in right away, the day of these attacks with half information in a way that was denounced by both Republicans and Democrats, and there’s no doubt that he’s working hard to exploit this issue. I would point to the fact that this morning in Bloomberg News, Chris Stevens’ dad said that he regretted that people were trying to exploit this issue.
Misdirection of the interview’s focus away from the President toward Mr. Romney’s irresponsibility.
RUSH: So Wallace here has had enough. This is the first US ambassador killed since 1979. Susan Rice came on this show and five others and gave the American people a story that turned out not to be true, and you are saying we shouldn’t discuss this, that we should wait for the investigation to be completed.
AXELROD: No, no.
Translation: Yes, yes.
WALLACE: That’s what you just said.
AXELROD: That’s obviously — Chris, calm down. That’s obviously not what I’m saying.
Translation: Okay, you caught me. Let’s change the subject.
WALLACE: You just said we should follow the lead of Chris Stevens’ father.
AXELROD: I’m — I’m — I’m happy to discuss it with you, and I do think that it’s worthy of discussion. I think that’s different than the manner in which Governor Romney has conducted himself. And it’s not just me who attacked him for the way he handled this. He was roundly criticized by people from right to left, the Republican establishment and the Democratic establishment.
Translation: I’m getting annoyed with your questions. You should be feeling sorry for Ambassador Stevens’ father and let’s not talk about this any more.
WALLACE: You’re talking about what he said the day after the attack. I don’t think anybody is criticizing him for what he’s saying now except the Obama campaign.
AXELROD: I’m just telling you that from the beginning, before any facts were known, he was, uh, cravenly trying to exploit it.
Translation: This entire situation, including my being here with you, is all Romney’s fault.
I rest my case. David Axelrod is one very slippery fellow.