07/08/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Axelrod: Obama's Trip Was Hardly An "Apology Tour"

David Axelrod said on Sunday that those conservatives who insisted that Barack Obama's trip overseas constituted an apology tour weren't actually watching the president speak.

"I think that they didn't pay attention to this speech or any of the speeches that he's making," Axelrod said during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union. "Because embedded in this speech was a very strong explanation, explication of who we are and what we're all about, about our values as a country and our history as a country."

"The whole point that he made was there are stereotypes of the Muslim world that have been -- that have grown up because of a small group of extremists who have been used to define the entire Muslim world," he added. "By the same token, America has been stereotyped in a way that there is no resemblance to who we are."

Axelrod was also asked whether Obama's Cairo speech was too hard on -- or laid too much blame at the feet of -- his predecessor, George W. Bush. Not so, he replied.

"I think that it is important to make clear that he didn't point a finger at George W. Bush and he didn't offer those observations to make a political point," Axelrod responded. "You can't be candid about other people's actions and responsibilities and not your own. It wasn't meant to criticize any one person, it was meant to discuss in an open and honest way [where our country has been]."

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