Former Obama aide David Axelrod warned on Tuesday that Donald Trump was a “formidable” candidate and denied being a “pearl-clutcher” on President Biden’s campaign. 

Axelrod and the panel on “CNN This Morning” discussed Trump’s win in Iowa. 

“The thing that I would look at if I were the Biden campaign is that third of people who say, ‘no, the election was legitimate, yes, I think that President Trump would be unfit if he were convicted of a crime.’ It seems to me among that group, there are people who would, who might consider voting for Biden, but I don’t consider myself a pearl-clutcher. I consider myself a realist,” Axelrod said, appearing to respond to fellow panelist Ana Navarro.

Axelrod said Biden’s campaign needed to “get into gear.”

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“The president and his campaign need to get into gear, and they need a message, and they need a message that is – that takes in not just democracy, but the day-to-day concerns that people have, and they need to prosecute it every single day through every single surrogate. That’s what winning campaigns do. So the people who have to sort of get in gear are not those who have concerns about what might happen in November, but the campaign itself, and there are signs that that’s beginning to happen,” he said.

The former aide to President Obama said the Biden campaign should be “happy” because it’s “very clear” that Trump would be the nominee. 

Navarro, a co-host on “The View,” said the results of the Iowa caucuses should be a “wake-up call” for Republicans and Democrats. 

“I think it’s depressing. It’s a grim day for people like you and me,” she said, referring to former GOP lawmaker Adam Kinzinger, who was also on the panel. “And I think it should be a wake-up call for Republicans who don’t want Trump, for center-leaning independents and right-leaning independents, and frankly, for Democrats who have been fretting and wringing their hands, and clutching their pearls for the last year.”

Navarron continued, “The last thing between Donald Trump and the presidency, the name is Joe Biden, and so I think it’s time for people to really wake up and this depression, this fear, this anger, this outrage, this aghastment [sic] that I feel today at watching the results, channel that into figuring out how we stop Donald Trump from ever being president again.”

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Axelrod also said that Trump proved again that he is a “formidable candidate.”

The former Obama aide suggested that Biden consider dropping out of the race in November, which has prompted a back-and-forth between Axelrod and the president. 

“Only @JoeBiden can make this decision. If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?” Axelrod wrote on social media.

Biden has reportedly called Axelrod a “pr–k” in private.

Axelrod has continued to voice concerns and most recently said that he didn’t give a “s–t” if Biden liked him. 

“I’m at a stage in my life where I don’t really give a s–t,” Axelrod said in an interview with Politico. “I’m 68. You know, everybody in Washington sort of thinks that the most important thing is that the president likes you and that you get invited to parties and s–t like that. I’ve been to plenty of parties. I worked in the White House. That’s not the thing.”

Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report.