David Axelrod warns keeping Trump off ballot would be seen as ‘subversion’ of democracy
Former Obama adviser David Axelrod warned that the consequences of removing former President Trump from the ballot would be potentially damaging to the country during an interview, Wednesday.
Axelrod conducted the media appearance ahead of a Supreme Court hearing Thursday on whether Trump should be removed from Colorado’s primary ballot.
“I’m not here as an apologist for Donald Trump and I’m certainly not here as a lawyer,” Axelrod said on CNN Wednesday night. “There are myriad legal questions that they’re gonna consider tomorrow. Some will undoubtedly offer off-ramps if they want an off-ramp, but I’m trying to imagine what it would be like if the Supreme Court said, ‘We’re removing the front-running Republican candidate from the ballot,’ and essentially saying to the American people, ‘You won’t have the opportunity to vote for him.'”
“And I think it would be very, very disruptive in this country,” he continued. “I think it will create a huge reaction. And that worries me.”
Axelrod said that he was concerned about what Trump would do if he weren’t allowed on the ballot. But more than that, he voiced concerns about the stability of democratic institutions and their ability to withstand significant pressure from a widespread collapse in credibility.
“It worries me partly because of Donald Trump,” Axelrod said. “There’s so much cynicism about our institutions already. And the strength of our democracy are these institutions. You can argue that’s why you have to go the way the Colorado court suggests.”
“But I think in the minds of many voters, this would be a subversion and it would draw a very strong reaction,” Axelrod said.
At issue is whether Trump committed “insurrection” by inciting a crowd to storm the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021, and whether that would make him constitutionally ineligible to be re-elected president. That, in turn, could block him from appearing on a state primary ballot as a candidate for that office.
The 14th Amendment, Section 3 of the Constitution states, “No person shall… hold any office… under the United States … who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States… to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. ET, and an expedited ruling could come within days or weeks.
Fox News’ Shannon Bream and Bill Mears contributed to this report.