Quote of the day

When David Axelrod and Rick Davis -- top strategists for the Obama and McCain campaigns, respectively -- met on "Fox News Sunday," it got personal.

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 12, 2008 6:17PM (EDT)

If there's any justice in this world, then someone, somewhere, is working on a new sitcom idea -- an "Odd Couple" style pairing featuring David Axelrod, a top strategist for Barack Obama, and Rick Davis, John McCain's campaign manager. The two appeared simultaneously on "Fox News Sunday" today, and what resulted was quite a spectacle. Here's part of one of the more memorable exchanges from the show, which is hosted by the network's Chris Wallace.

WALLACE: David, you get the last word. And talk, if you will, about this argument that, you know, if you -- if you elect Obama and you have a strong Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, you're giving total control of the government to the Democrats.

AXELROD: Look, I think the way you root out corruption in Washington is first take on the lobbyist culture, and you know, what we can't have are lobbyists making millions of dollars selling access to public officials, as Rick has done selling access to Sen. McCain.

DAVIS: Well, David, what do you think you've been doing in your organization? ... Does your company represent any corporate interests?

AXELROD: Rick, why don't you answer the question about whether you sell access to Sen. McCain?

DAVIS: Well, if you're going to talk about me...

AXELROD: That's been reported in the newspaper. Is that false?

DAVIS: Well, I think that's the point.

AXELROD: It is false that you sell access to Sen. McCain?


DAVIS: ... what you do in your business in the newspapers...

AXELROD: No, answer the question.

DAVIS: ... because I think it would be excellent reading.

AXELROD: Do you sell access to Sen. McCain?

DAVIS: No, I don't.

AXELROD: Is that how you've made millions of dollars?

DAVIS: Not at all.

AXELROD: You've never done that. You've never -- nobody's ever...

DAVIS: David...

AXELROD: ... been told that they ought to hire you...

DAVIS: ... let me ask you a question. Is this the kind of...

AXELROD: ... if they want to get to Sen. McCain?

DAVIS: ... politics that you're...

AXELROD: I'm asking you a question.

DAVIS: Character assassination has become the hallmark of the Obama campaign.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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