AXELROD DOES NOT SUFFER FOOLS KINDLY…. Some key members of the Bush team — most notably Dick Cheney, Andy Card, and Karl Rove — ignored traditional norms, and blasted the new president less than three weeks after the inauguration.

Yesterday, David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Obama, threw a couple of elbows in response to the criticism. The Washington Post‘s Lois Romano asked, Can I get a reaction on Dick Cheney’s comments, that there will be a high probability of a terrorist attack — that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear attack in the next few years?” Axelrod responded:

“I think we all live with the reality that there is a threat, and it’s a grave threat. It existed during the years of the Bush administration. We’re living with it now. It’s something that the President is completely focused on and meets every day on these threats.

“I was disappointed in the Vice President’s comments, not because he said — stated the obvious which is that there are threats that are grave, but that he suggested that somehow the President’s decisions on torture in Guantanamo would increase the likelihood of that.

“You know, one of the things that I’ve been impressed by is the graciousness that President Bush has shown during this transition period and in the weeks — first weeks of this administration.

“When he left, he wished us the best, and I believe that he meant that, and I — apparently, the memo didn’t circulate around the White House because I’ve seen, you know, what I consider tasteless comments by the Vice President, amazing comments by Karl Rove.

“You know, the last thing that I think we’re looking for at this juncture is advice on fiscal integrity or ethics from Karl Rove, anyone who’s read the newspapers for the last eight years would laugh at that.

“So, I appreciate that President Bush has been so classy during this period, and I’m disappointed that some of the folks who worked for him didn’t–don’t share that.”

As for Andy Card repeatedly complaining about the president and his staff not wearing jackets in the Oval Office, Axelrod concluded, “I mentioned Andy Card saying that we were somehow denigrating the presidency because people were wearing short sleeves in the Oval Office. We’re wearing short sleeves because we have to roll up our sleeves and clean up the mess that we inherited.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.