"The thing that bewilders me is this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people. So I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere because he certainly understands the burden that people face," David Axelrod said Sunday.
The rallies coincided with the deadline to file income taxes, and gave people a chance also to voice frustrations about government spending and corporate bailouts.
The tea parties were promoted by FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington and led by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, who is now a lobbyist.
Axelrod was asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" for his opinion on what the show's host described as "this spreading and very public disaffection with not only the government, but especially the Obama administration."
Axelrod replied: "I think any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy."
"Unhealthy?" the moderator repeated.
"This is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves. And so far these are expressions," Axelrod answered.