CHICAGO (CBS) — Top Obama adviser David Axelrod on Tuesday said Republican superstar Sarah Palin is “a good reflection of why we can’t abandon education.”

Axelrod was weighing in on Palin’s recent gaffe on Paul Revere, in which she claimed Revere had set off in part to warn the British “that they weren’t going to be takin’ away our arms.”

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“I think it’s a good reflection of why we can’t abandon education,” Axelrod said. “We need good education so everybody knows their history lessons.”

Palin made the remarks after a visit to the historic Old North Church in Boston last week. She was quickly accused of misquoting history, but on Sunday, she insisted she was right.

“I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere,” she told Chris Wallace on Fox News Channel Sunday morning. “Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there. That, hey, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have,” she added. “He did warn the British.”

The Paul Revere House’s Web site says that on April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren instructed Revere to ride to Lexington, Mass., to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them. In an undated letter posted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Revere wrote of the need to keep his activities secret and his suspicion that a member of his tight circle of planners had become a British informant.

According to the letter, written around 1798, Revere did give up some details of the plan to the British that night, but after he had notified other colonists, and under questioning by British soldiers.
Surrounded, Revere revealed “there would be five hundred Americans there in a short time, for I had alarmed the Country all the way up,” he wrote.

Palin has yet to declare whether she will run for in the Republican primary for president next year.

Axelrod Calls Pawlenty’s Chicago Speech ‘Good Stagecraft’
Axelrod also weighed on the Chicago speech by a confirmed Republican gubernatorial hopeful, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Debra Dale reports, Axelrod said Pawlenty’s choice to deliver his speech in President Barack Obama’s hometown is simply politics.

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“It’s good stagecraft to come here,” Axelrod said. “But the stagecraft isn’t important. It’s the content of what he has to say.”

Speaking at the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy, Pawlenty accused Obama of being satisfied with as second-rate American economy “produced by his third-rate policies.”

Pawlenty’s plan would cut taxes on business by more than half and simplify the tax code to just three tiers.

Pawlenty also is proposing what he is calling “The Google Test.” He says Americans can find a service on the Internet from a private company, then the government probably shouldn’t be providing it too.

He accused Obama of discouraging innovation, and said regulations have weighed down an economic recovery.

But Axelrod questioned Pawlenty’s own financial management skills, given the state of the economy in Minnesota when he left office.

“He left his own state with a $5 billion deficit, and now he’s counseling the rest of the country on how to handle finances,” Axelrod said. “I think he would have been well-served to take care of the finances of his own state.”

He said Pawlenty is proposing what would amount to massive tax cuts for the wealthy and huge new deficits.

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