Top Obama adviser David Axelrod suggested Wednesday that Hillary Clinton was spreading the blame to thin when explaining why she lost the 2016 presidential election.
‘It takes a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump,’ Axelrod said on CNN. ‘Let me tell you, he was the least popular presidential candidate to win in the history of polling.’
On Tuesday, Clinton sat down with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and named a trio of reasons she thought she lost the election: FBI Director James Comey’s late-in-the-game letter, Russian meddling and misogyny, as she was the first major party candidate who was a woman.
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Obama adviser David Axelrod pointed out that it ‘takes a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump,’ explaining that Hillary Clinton was trying to spread the blame for losing the election too thin
Hillary Clinton blamed a trio of forces for causing her election loss: Russian interference, misogyny and a late breaking letter to Congress written by FBI Director James Comey
‘If the election had been on October 27 I’d be your president,’ Clinton said on the New York City stage, pointing to research done by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver on the impact of Comey’s letter to lawmakers that said the FBI was again reviewing Clinton’s emails.
Comey’s letter was dated October 28.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, asked about Clinton’s quote, pointed to his favorite football team and said ‘with all due respect to her’ that’s not how elections work.
‘Well, look, I’m a Patriots fan and I think if the game’s ended in the third quarter it would have been a different team here last week,’ Spicer said. ‘But you play a game four quarters, you play an election until election day.’
Axelrod, a fellow Democrat, was slightly more charitable.
‘She has a legitimate beef because Comey’s letter was instrumentalist I think in her defeat, so in a narrow sense she’s right about it,’ Axelrod assessed.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer pointed to his beloved New England Patriots when asked about Hillary Clinton’s statement that she’d be president had the election occurred at an earlier date
‘But Jim Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention. Jim Comey didn’t say don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign,’ Axelrod continued.
It was long known that Trump’s playbook was to strip away white often-Democratic voters who live in the Midwest.
On Election Night, it was wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that led to the Republican’s victory in the Electoral College and the Democrat’s defeat.
‘And one of the things that hindered her in the campaign was a sense that she never fully was willing to take responsibility for her mistakes, particularly that server,’ Axelrod noted.
The new book ‘Shattered,’ by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, sheds light on this too, pointing to the fact that it took months in 2015 for Clinton to apologize for using a secret private server to conduct government business while serving as secretary of state.
‘But like frogs who don’t notice the water around them coming to a boil, Hillary and Bill took too long to appreciate just how much the email scandal – and the candidate’s refusal to simply apologize up front – was poaching her image,’ the two authors wrote of the Democratic hopeful and her ex-president spouse.
David Axelrod advised Hillary Clinton (pictured ) to move on, however much of what she said Tuesday in New York will be included in a new book, which will debut in the fall
Both Axelrod and Spicer argued that it was time to move on.
‘I think there’s been plenty of analysis on the election and where people have chose to spend their time and their resources and their messaging and I think it’s somewhat sad that we’re still debating why the president won in the fashion that he did,’ Spicer said.
Trump, however, continues to bring up his victory, touting his ‘great campaign,’ in a tweet last night suggested that Comey had, in reality, let Clinton off the hook.
In testimony today in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey denied doing such a thing.
‘We conducted a competent, honest and independent investigation,’ the FBI director argued when a senator brought up Trump’s tweet.
Comey also said he was ‘mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election.’
While Clinton pointed inward during yesterday’s sit-down with Amanpour and did accept some of the blame, Axelrod advised that she stop pointing fingers all the same.
‘If I were her, if I were advising her, I would say, “Don’t do this, don’t go back and appear as if you’re shifting responsibility,”‘ the longtime Obama adviser said. ‘She said the words, “I’m responsible,” but the – everything else suggested that she doesn’t really feel that way.’
‘And I don’t think that helps her in the long run,’ Axelrod said. ‘So if I were her, I would move on.’
On several occasions yesterday Clinton said she was writing a book on the 2016 election.
It will come out in the fall.