David Axelrod offered a stinging rebuke on Wednesday to Hillary Clinton’s assertion that her presidential campaign failed because of FBI Director James B. Comey and Russian hackers.
CNN’s “New Day” called in former President Barack Obama’s adviser to discuss Mrs. Clinton’s news conference on Tuesday, which framed her failed presidential bid as the result of forces beyond her control. Mr. Axelrod told co-hosts Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota that he was baffled why she would continue to revisit the issue since “it takes a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump.”
“Jim Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention,” said Mr. Obama’s winning campaign strategist. “Jim Comey didn’t say, ‘Don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign.’ 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.”
Mrs. Clinton lost Wisconsin’s 10 electoral college votes and suffered upsets in crucial states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.
The panel also mulled over Mrs. Clinton’s decision to simultaneously speak on taking responsibility for her defeat while casting herself as a victim of circumstance.
“She said the words ‘I’m responsible,’ but everything else suggested that she really doesn’t feel that way, and I don’t think that helps her in the long run,” Mr. Axelrod said. “The fact that she was in a position to lose because of the Comey letter is something that deserves some introspection.”
Mrs. Clinton added in her discussion with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that she considers herself “part of the resistance” to Mr. Trump’s agenda.