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David Axelrod, Chris Christie to speak at Romney retreat

David Axelrod, one of the chief architects of the campaign that kept Mitt Romney out of the White House, will speak at a retreat hosted by the former Massachusetts governor this June. So will New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who some Romney aides blame for their candidate's loss.

Former Obama adviser David Alexrod. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Axelrod said he and wife Susan will discuss not politics but epilepsy research.  

"My wife and I were asked to come and speak about our daughter Lauren's lifelong struggles with epilepsy, and CURE, the research foundation Susan launched 15 years ago to try and address a scourge that claims 50,000 lives a year," the Obama campaign strategist told The Post. "We were pleased to accept, because we believe our common humanity in coping with disease far outweighs our political differences."

During the campaign, Axelrod frequently took jabs at Romney in television interviews. After the election, the strategist joined NBC News and MSNBC as a political analyst. He is also writing a memoir about his personal and political life.

Some former Romney staffers blamed Christie's close working relationship with President Obama during Hurricane Sandy for the Republican nominee's defeat in 2012. But Romney praised Christie at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year.

Axelrod's attendance at the Park City, Utah, event was first reported by the Boston Globe. According to the paper, Rep. Paul Ryan and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will also speak.

Villaraigosa, chairman of the Democratic National Convention last fall, mentioned recently that he has dined with Romney and spoken to him on the phone.

"You know, I said this to Mitt Romney yesterday on the telephone and I actually said it to him a couple months ago at a dinner right after the election: I have a lot of respect for people who are willing to put their name on the ballot, run for president of the United States," he told reporters.

CNN reported last month that the policy retreat is being held in conjunction with Solamere Capital, the investment firm founded by Romney's son Tagg, and will cost $5,000 to attend.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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Anne Bartlett · April 23, 2013

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