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Did David Axelrod Just Undercut Biden's Claim of a 'Mandate' to Raise Taxes?


"[On] the tax issue, there was a clear, a clear sort of mandate."

Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod on Thursday called it "foolish" and "generally untrue" when presidents claim to have a "mandate" after they're elected -- just one day after Vice President Joe Biden said Obama had earned a "clear sort of mandate" on taxes.

"On this issue of particularly the fiscal cliff, presidents always say 'I have a mandate, I have a mandate.' That's a foolish word and it's generally untrue," Axelrod said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," referring to the looming year-end deadline that will trigger higher taxes and abrupt spending cuts unless the president and Congress can come to an agreement.

Still, Axelrod said Obama "did campaign all over this country" about "the need for balanced deficit reduction," including some new tax revenue.

"He was re-elected by, you know, in a significant way so I think that hopefully people will read those results and read them as a vote for cooperation," Axelrod said. "If the attitude is that nothing happened on Tuesday, that would be unfortunate."

Biden told reporters on Wednesday that with regard to taxes, the will of the voters was clear.

"On the issue of the tax issue, there was a clear, a clear sort of mandate about people coming much closer to our view about how to deal with tax policy," Biden said.

He also said he hoped there would be "some real soul-searching" from Republicans about what they're willing to cooperate on.

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