David Axelrod, a former senior adviser and strategist for President Obama, said Tuesday that the Barack Obama Foundation will not accept foreign donations for the upcoming Obama presidential library because the president thinks it's the appropriate thing to do.
"He wants to apply the same standards that he applied to his fundraising when he was running for president while he's in office," Axelrod said in an interview with CBSN, the CBS News digital network, though he noted that he hasn't been a part of the discussions. "He feels that he's a sitting president and that's the appropriate step to take."
Foreign donations have been in the news lately as the Clinton Foundation has come under fire for taking money from foreign governments. With Hillary Clinton's burgeoning presidential campaign, they will now only accept large donations from six foreign governments - Australia, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.
A spokesman for the Barack Obama Foundation told CBS News, "When it was launched in early 2014, the Barack Obama Foundation adopted strict donation guidelines in line with those adopted by the President for his campaigns. The Foundation does not accept donations from entities or organizations other than those also operating under section 501(c)(3), and it does not accept support from foreign nationals, currently registered federal lobbyists or foreign agents. The Foundation also voluntarily reports all donations above $200 on its website."
The Barack Obama Foundation announced Tuesday that the library will be housed at one of two sites submitted by the University of Chicago on the south side of the city.
"They have deep, deep roots here, and now they're bringing this extraordinary asset back to the south side that is going to lift these neighborhoods," Axelrod said.
Despite the library's location, however, Axelrod said he didn't know whether the Obamas will move back to Chicago, where they still own a home, when Mr. Obama leaves office in 2017.
"I don't know that they've made that decision, but clearly they're going to be spending a lot of time on the south side of Chicago at this presidential center because the presidential center's going to be more than just an archival reflection on the president's life and presidency, but a living, breathing institution," he said.
Axelrod also weighed in on Clinton's campaign and the increasing pressure she faces from progressive figures like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, to move to the left.
"It's important that she stand up for the things that she believes in and that she can with great authenticity defend, and I think there's great overlap between some of the things that Bill de Blasio and Elizabeth Warren are talking about and some of the concerns that Hillary, that she has articulated about the state of the middle class in this country," he said. "She has to come forward with ideas to deal with that. They may not be the same ideas as Bill de Blasio's or Elizabeth Warren's, but they need to be prescriptive to what is the great challenge of our time."
His advice to Clinton was to "behave like you are going after and go after every single vote," saying it was the presumption of inevitability around her campaign in 2007 and 2008 that tripped her up.
"People want to be asked for their vote; they want you to make a strong case for where you're going to take the country," he said. "They don't like inevitability and she's wise to shed that as she campaigns."