WASHINGTON (AP) — An adviser to President Barack Obama is defending Obama's comment yesterday that "you can't change Washington from the inside."
David Axelrod tells NBC that Obama was saying that in order to "move Washington" you need to "enlist the American people."
He says Obama learned that lesson from the debt ceiling standoff last summer, and that it's a point he's been making "consistently."
Still, Mitt Romney is seizing on Obama's comment, telling supporters he "will change Washington" and "get the job done from the inside." He's expected to press the issue again today at a campaign rally in Nevada.
Obama is looking for the support of seniors today, addressing an AARP convention by satellite. His campaign released a web video targeting older voters -- many of whom would fall into the group of Americans Romney referred to when he said that nearly half of Americans don't pay income tax but get benefits.
Seniors on Medicare make up about 15 percent of those getting benefits. About 22 percent of those who don't pay income tax are seniors who get tax breaks that offset their income.
188-a-13-(David Axelrod, adviser to the Obama campaign, in interview)-"ready as well"-Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod says the president is expecting a spirited debate when he faces Mitt Romney next month in Denver. COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *188 (09/21/12)>> 00:13 "ready as well"
187-a-17-(David Axelrod, adviser to the Obama campaign, in interview)-"attack to another"-Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod says the president has learned that in order to get things done in Washington you have to go directly to the American people. ((note cut length)) COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *187 (09/21/12)>> 00:17 "attack to another"
045-w-36-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Obama and Mitt Romney, GOP presidential candidate)--Mitt Romney says President Obama seems to have "thrown in the towel" on the idea of hope and change. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *045 (09/21/12)>> 00:36
105-a-08-(Mitt Romney, R-Mass., presidential nominee, at campaign rally)-"heard him today"-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney says the admission shows how far President Obama has fallen. ((note "today" in cut refers to Thursday)) (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *105 (09/21/12)>> 00:08 "heard him today"
102-a-13-(President Barack Obama, speaking at Univision News town hall)-"care got done"-President Obama says he's learned some lessons during the last four years. COURTESY: Univision News ((mandatory on-air credit)) RESTRICTION: This audio may be used only in regularly scheduled hard news programs. It may not be used after 3:20 ped, Saturday, 9/22/12. (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *102 (09/21/12)>> 00:13 "care got done"
104-a-13-(Mitt Romney, R-Mass., presidential nominee, at campaign rally)-'''no, I can't'''-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney says it's amazing that President Obama now says he can't change Washington from inside, he has to go outside. (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *104 (09/21/12)>> 00:13 "'no, I can't'"
APPHOTO FLCK130: President Barack Obama pops a french fry into his mouth as he visits with students at OMG! Burgers, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (20 Sep 2012)
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