Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod lied about a racial comment that Mitt Romney allegedly made to President Obama in his 2012 election night concession call, a Romney aide claims.
Garrett Jackson, the Romney aide whose phone Romney actually used to call the president that night, exclusively told The Daily Caller that “I know it didn’t happen because I was right next to him there.”
The New York Daily News reported Wednesday on a shocking claim in Axelrod’s new book. According to Axelrod, Obama told Axelrod after the call that Romney said, “You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee.” Obama, allegedly angry, thought that Romney was referring to “black people.”
But Axelrod’s claim is nonsense.
“I just got pissed off. It was infuriating,” Jackson told The Daily Caller. “It was totally absurd. I know it didn’t happen because I was right next to him there. Hell, I was the one who called the president on my phone.”
“I was with the [Romney] family all night. We were looking at state results. We never got down to the nitty-gritty of cities, so for Mitt to bring that up when talking to the president is absurd and not who he is.”
“I’m just hopeful that this lie was concocted by Axelrod and not the president,” Jackson said. “Axelrod, the guy is obviously just trying to make some money on his book.”
So what actually happened during Romney’s concession call?
“Mitt asked, ‘Does someone have the president’s phone number?’” Jackson remembered. “Later, he called him. Mitt looked at me and said ‘Garett get the president on the line.’ This had already been arranged. I know [Obama aide] Marvin Nicholson, we had exchanged contacts. Messina and Rhodes arranged that either I would call Marvin or Marvin would call me.”
“We walk with Mitt into the side room off the suite. I called Marvin and said is his boss available? I hand the phone to Mitt. It was a quick call. He said, ‘Congratulations to you Mr. President and your team on a hard-fought victory.’ There was a pause. Mitt didn’t have him on speaker phone. It was brief whatever [Obama] told him. Mitt responded, ‘I know there are some hard decisions ahead and some tough issues facing the country. I’m here to help in any way because it’s very important.’ The president had a quick response to that. Mitt said, ‘Ann and I are praying for you and the First Lady daily.’”
“I remember it so vividly,” Jackson said. “I knew I was witnessing a historic moment.”
“I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less from David Axelrod,” Jackson added. “The obsession that Barack Obama and his team have with Mitt Romney just fascinates me. Here we are two years away from the campaign and Axelrod is still coming out with lies that distort who Mitt Romney is? It’s sad in my opinion.”
An attempt to reach Axelrod through his perch at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics was not successful.