Axelrod Doubts Greene’s Credibility as Candidate

Posted June 13, 2010 at 12:22pm

Updated: June 13, 6:10 p.m.

White House adviser David Axelrod suggested Sunday that South Carolina Senate candidate Alvin Greene (D) was not a credible choice and gave a thinly veiled call for the nominee to withdraw.

“I think the Democrats of South Carolina deserve a strong candidate,” Axelrod said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think he can claim himself to be a strong, credible candidate.”

Greene, an unknown, unemployed military veteran, surprised South Carolina voters last week with his victory in the Democratic primary. He faces incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint (R) in November’s general election.

“It was a mysterious deal,” Axelrod said of Greene’s election. “The whole thing is odd, and I don’t really know how to explain it, and I don’t think anyone else does either.”

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “I don’t see myself getting behind Mr. Greene” as the Democratic candidate.

Clyburn also reiterated his belief that Greene is “someone’s plant” in the election.

“People intentionally circumvented the law, the rules and regulations, did not file any disclosures, did not file any of their campaign finances, yet they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars running this campaign and broke every law,” Clyburn said.

During his appearance on “Meet the Press,” Axelrod predicted a strong Democratic showing in November. Axelrod, the chief architect of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, highlighted the “large-scale effort” by the Democratic National Committee’s grass-roots arm Organizing for America to lure first-time voters from 2008 to return to election booths this fall.

He suggested that the $50 million push would promote a broad messaging strategy that would stand in contrast to what the White House adviser called “a drift of the Republican Party.”

“The Republican Party continues its march rightward,” Axelrod said, pointing to conservative GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle of Nevada as an example. “I think it’s going to make for a very interesting November.”

The GOP nominee for a Senate seat in California, Carly Fiorina, said the rise of women in politics and of conservatives like herself and Angle was a gain for the GOP. Fiorina was one of a handful of female candidates to win in last week’s bout of primaries throughout the country.

“Candidates are reflecting the diversity of America, and isn’t that a wonderful thing?” Fiorina said on “Meet the Press.” “I think that’s a natural progression, and I think it’s worth celebrating.”

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) maintained during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” that Democrats would keep their majority after November, while Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said his party has “a real shot at the majority.”

“We’ve got 100 seats in play,” Boehner said. “We have a real shot at winning a majority so that we can put a check on this administration and all the spending that’s out of control here in Washington, D.C.”