David Axelrod Interviews Jeff Roe (Episode 177)

(29:50 min)

Running negative ads that have enough of a kernel that you can keep a straight face, though others might say you were taking liberties

Ran ads arguing that an opponent sold ads for Penthouse (a scientific journal owned by Omni magazine, which owned Penthouse).

I “own” my ads. Every candidate signs off on the ads.

Defense: It was a very tough year, you can’t let opponent “hang around” after Labor day.

Implied that an opponent was drunk when accident occurred  (knew had a few DUIs, but not necessarily then).

Are there any boundaries?  Have you ever written a script that goes too far?

The voters set the limit.  You can’t run ads that don’t work, that are not believable.  Candidate have a brand.  You can’t run ads contrary to their brand.

An opponent committed suicide.


Rush Limbaugh is my hero (42 min)

I would be to the right side of the Freedom Caucus.

Litmus Test: abortion, guns

Republican Base

  • very conservatives: 20-50%
  • somewhat conservative: 25%
  • establishment: 25%
  • 80% approval rating
  • 1/3 of the party would leave with Trump

Cruz strategist: Trump has a math problem

Jeff Roe, Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, tells ‘Off Message’ that Trump’s allergy to analytics could be fatal.

 Media share is the top predictor of electoral success.

Ted Cruz won Iowa but was third after Iowa, behind Rubio and Ben Carson.

We felt if we got him “heads up” we could win.

Fox only showed 7 minutes out of 13 minutes Iowa speech.  Then switched to map showing how Trump could win.

When its raining soup, put a bowl on your head: my grandfather.

Romney had 2 segments.  Obama had 9.  We had thousands of segments. (49-51 min)