Axelrod: Obama "Has Been Honest" About Obamacare, Shouldn't Have Spoke In "Absolutes"


CHRIS MATTHEWS: One area where the president has clearly taken a hit is on the question of trust. In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans were asked to rate the president on the qualities of being honest and straightforward. 37% rated him good, 43% said poor. And that's it. If you look at where he was on these issues in January, you see his numbers have taken a big hit and those numbers have essentially been reversed.

You know, I do think this is a problem and I support the president -- or I agree with him on a lot of these issues, obviously, David, but the question of that claim he made if you have a health insurance policy, you're happy with it, you'll get it keep it was a pretty simple broad promise. He hasn't been able to keep it, it's not there. Is there anyway to fix that? I notice he's doing things like our interview last week, which I'm glad he did, certainly. Is part of that just getting out with young people, especially and showing he's there to answer their questions? Or what?

DAVID AXELROD: I think part of it is being honest about it, and he has been honest about it. Part of it is getting it fixed as best that you can. There's no doubt that that is at the core of the problem when you come to this measure, and I think he was ill-served because I'm sure when he said what he said he believed it. When they put the grandfather clause in, he believed that that would take care of these kinds of transitional problems. It didn't. And, you know, I think the real lesson here is don't ever speak in absolutes because there's always going to be an exception and that exception is going to become an example that your opponents lift up. And in this case, there were many examples.

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