Axelrod, who now leads the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, recently hosted Booker and told Yahoo that while Booker was an "exceptional political talent," he needed to take things down a notch:
"Some catcher … told him, ‘You know you are a great pitcher … and you throw the ball 100 miles an hour, but if you threw it at 97 and got it over the plate you’d be untouchable,’" recounted Axelrod.
"I think that Booker is a great, great talent. … I think that he’s in public service for the right reasons, but he probably could take three miles off his fastball, and get the ball over the plate, and be even better," added Axelrod.
Booker is known for his reliance on emotion in speeches and at hearings. He memorably laced into Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in January after President Donald Trump reportedly made vulgar remarks about African countries, saying he had "tears of rage" upon hearing about the comments.
Axelrod rebuked Booker in 2012 when, as a surrogate for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, he criticized the campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's career in private equity. Axelrod said Booker was "just wrong."