President Biden and Democrat strategist David Axelrod have shown increasing tension towards each other after Axelrod questioned whether it was the best decision for Biden to run again in 2024. But the friction, at least on the Biden family side, appears to date back years.
Earlier this month, Axelrod suggested it may be “wise” for Biden to drop out of the 2024 race following a poll that showed him losing to former President Trump by up to 10 points in five battleground states he won in 2020.
“Only [Joe Biden] can make this decision,” the former Obama adviser wrote on X on November 5. “If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?”
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“It’s very late to change horses; a lot will happen in the next year that no one can predict & Biden’s team says his resolve to run is firm,” he later added in the thread. “He’s defied CW before but this will send tremors of doubt thru the party–not ‘bed-wetting,’ but legitimate concern.”
Axelrod continued on Sunday by warning that Biden’s “age issue” was consistent in polling and noted it’s the “one thing” they can’t reverse, “no matter how effective” the president is behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, a Politico report has since surfaced alleging Biden had fired back at Axelrod in private by calling him a “pr—.” During a Monday CNN appearance, Axelrod fielded a question on the alleged comment, saying Biden was not the first to call him that during his time in politics.
However, the Biden family’s apparent disdain towards Axelrod appears to stem back at least to the 2016 election.
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During that time, Hunter Biden ripped Axelrod as a “giant a– hole” when communicating with his longtime business partner Eric Schwerin and then-Vice President Biden’s deputy counsel Alexander Mackler, Fox News Digital previously reported.
In the September 2015 email exchange obtained by Fox News Digital, Mackler shared an Axelrod tweet with Hunter Biden and Schwerin. The message said the 2016 election was “still [Hillary Clinton’s] to lose, despite new polls.”
“It’s still HRC’s to lose, despite new polls. But it’s hard to inspire w/grinding, tactical race. ‘Hillary: Live With It’ is no rallying cry!” Axelrod tweeted.
“At the risk of being told for the second time this week that I need therapy…” Mackler said in response to the tweet. “This guy can take a flying leap. Cannot wait till he comes back to [Joe Biden] in a couple months and tells him it’s time to run, after being the patronizing, self-appointed kingmaker earlier this year and telling him not to run (and then talking about the meeting all over TV).”
“He is a giant a– hole,” Hunter replied.
The email exchange occurred slightly over a month before Biden announced that the window for a potential presidential campaign announcement had “closed.”
“Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination,” Biden said during October 2015 remarks at the White House Rose Garden. “But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent.”
In a 2017 email exchange less than two years later, Schwerin and Mackler took more shots at Axelrod over his backing of Clinton over Biden in response to a Washington Free Beacon article with the headline, “Axelrod Rips Clinton for Election Excuses: ‘It Takes a Lot of Work to Lose to Donald Trump'”
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“Do you think he should have thought about this before he backed her to the exclusion of others?!?” Schwerin said, appearing to reference Biden as one of the “others.”
“I’m old enough to remember when he took a whole afternoon of [Joe Biden’s] time in the West Wing, arguing that he needed to get out of [Hillary Clinton’s] way because she was the better candidate and would win,” Mackler said.
Axelrod, a senior CNN political commentator, expressed “100 percent” support for Hillary Clinton as early as January 2015 during a phone call with top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, according to an email Abedin sent to other Clinton operatives.
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However, reports from 2016 regarding the Wikileaks emails show that Clinton staffers were concerned about Axelrod’s criticism of Clinton, and one aide even called his negative comments a “headache.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment on Biden’s recent alleged comment and what appears to be contempt from the Biden family against Axelrod dating back several years.
Fox News Digital’s Hanna Panreck and Kristine Parks contributed to this report.