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Axelrod: Romney Represents Wall Street

The Obama campaign ties its anti-Wall Street strategy all together:

“I think there’s some question as to what [Romney’s] core convictions are,” [White House adviser David] Axelrod said Tuesday on “Morning Joe.” “I think, also, he says he represents business, but he really represents the Wall Street side of business in ways — you know, he stripped down companies and outsourced jobs in ways that I think reflect people’s concerns about the economy.”

Obama’s populist anti-Wall Street, tax-the-rich message isn’t just a way for him to reconnect with his base. It’s leading directly into a larger criticism of his most likely opponent, Mitt Romney. But the idea that Axelrod or any Obama campaign official is criticizing anybody for Wall Street ties or stripping down companies is absurd.

You only have to look at Obama’s handpicked job-creation panel – stuffed full of executives who cut their workforces the same way Axelrod accuses Romney of doing – to see the hypocrisy here:

 Just days before the president appointed Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive of American Express, to the council, the company announced a massive restructuring that closed a facility in North Carolina and eliminated 550 jobs, or about 1 percent of the company’s workforce. At the same time, American Express announced it had made $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, up 48 percent from the same period the previous year.

Xerox, whose chief executive, Ursula Burns, sits on the board, has cut 4,500 jobs in the first six months of 2011.

Read the L.A. Times for the full story, but the list of job-cutters on the panel goes on and on: Boeing CEO Jeff McNerny (cut 1,100 jobs in January), Eastman Kodak CEO (cut more than 2,000 jobs during the last six years).

If the Obama campaign is going to argue that Romney’s business actions “[don’t] reflect people’s concerns about the economy,” it will have a hard time defending to his job-creation committee Obama’s appointment of executives who have carried out similar large-scale layoffs.