A former top adviser to President Obama said Sunday that it was a "mistake" for Obama to say in a speech last week that his policies are effectively on the ballot in the midterm elections this fall.

"I wouldn't put that line there," David Axelrod said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

In a Thursday speech, Obama said: "I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them."

Republicans swiftly started running attack ads using the words to tie Democratic congressional candidates to the president, who polls show is unpopular.

Axelrod added, "Understand, if you read the speech, the context of the line was the things he's pushing forward — minimum wage, pay equity, infrastructure — and he said these are on the ballot."

But Axelrod concluded, "It was a mistake."