461 episodes

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

The Axe Files with David Axelrod The Institute of Politics & CNN

    • News
    • 4.3 • 4 Ratings

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

    Ep. 448 — Cecile Richards

    Ep. 448 — Cecile Richards

    Growing up was a political affair for activist Cecile Richards. She spent time stuffing envelopes at her family’s dining room table and got in trouble in high school for protesting the Vietnam War. Her activism later propelled her to the position of president of Planned Parenthood, which she led for more than a decade. She joined David to talk about the ongoing fight for abortion rights as some states move to restrict access, what Democrats miss in talking to rural voters, her work with American Bridge, and whether she could see herself one day running for governor of New York.

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    • 56 min
    Ep. 447 — Rep. Liz Cheney

    Ep. 447 — Rep. Liz Cheney

    When Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was a little girl, she and her sister would spend Saturday mornings watching cartoons in the West Wing while their father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, served as Chief of Staff to President Ford. Rep. Cheney ultimately became a politician herself, rising to House GOP conference chair. She was removed from her leadership position in May after denouncing former President Trump’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was stolen. She joined David to talk about when she realized her position in Republican leadership was untenable, why she believes President Trump is dangerous to the GOP and the country as a whole, and why she still supports Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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    • 47 min
    Ep. 446 — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

    Ep. 446 — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already faced a series of unprecedented crises during her almost four year tenure in the nation’s highest office. The young, progressive Prime Minister has led her country through a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic, successfully keeping case and death numbers low. From her rural and working-class childhood to her nation’s highest office, Prime Minister Ardern says her focus has always been on creating a more just society. She joined David to talk about her early introduction to politics, the difference between working with the Trump and Biden administrations, her government’s response to Covid-19, New Zealand’s relationship with China, and how she measures her success.

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    • 51 min
    Ep. 445 — Heather McTeer Toney

    Ep. 445 — Heather McTeer Toney

    Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, much of Heather McTeer Toney’s life was tied to the environment, from food and agriculture to the levees holding back the Mississippi River. But it wasn’t until she was mayor of her hometown and working on a water issue that she realized the connection between climate and social justice. Heather is now senior adviser at Moms Clean Air Force, a group that works to protect children from air pollution and climate change, and climate justice liaison at the Environmental Defense Fund. She joined David to talk about her childhood steeped in the fight for civil rights, how climate and racial justice intersect, and why she believes fighting for voting rights is a vital component of climate activism.

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    • 1 hr
    Ep. 444 — Justin Amash

    Ep. 444 — Justin Amash

    Growing up as the son of a Palestinian refugee and a Syrian immigrant, former Rep. Justin Amash developed an early appreciation for the opportunities and freedoms America offered. His views on what power the government should have in limiting those freedoms crystalized after a Google search led him to libertarian thinkers and texts. As a Republican member of Congress following those libertarian principles, Amash sometimes found himself at odds with party leadership and eventually with President Trump. He joined David to talk about the value of immigrants of all backgrounds, how he believes US Congress operates as more of an oligarchy than a democracy, what he respects about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and why he’s unsettled by what he sees as the media’s lionization of Rep. Liz Cheney.

    To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Ep. 443 — Sally Yates

    Ep. 443 — Sally Yates

    Sally Yates was born into a family of lawyers. She followed suit, entering private practice before becoming a federal prosecutor, which began a 27 year career at the Department of Justice. As Deputy Attorney General during the Obama administration and then as Acting Attorney General just after President Trump took office, she was involved in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Just ten days into her tenure as Acting Attorney General, Yates was fired by President Trump after refusing to enforce his travel ban on those from predominantly Muslim countries. She joined David to talk about the assault on truth and institutions, the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, voting rights, police reform, and her work advocating for mental health and suicide prevention.

    To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    • 59 min

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