President Obama is distancing himself from charges that he’s running a negative campaign, saying this afternoon that everything his campaign is attacking opponent Mitt Romney on, like his tax returns, aren’t “in any way out of bounds.”
Is President Obama waging a dirty, negative campaign against GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney? Nope. At least according to Obama himself, who answered the criticism in a White House Q&A with the press this afternoon (his first in two months), reports USA Today. The president said that the recent slew of negative ads attacking Romney are fair game and that he’s attempting to point out the “sharp differences” between the two candidates.
“I feel very comfortable with the fact that when you look at the campaign we’re running, we are focused on the issues and the differences that are important to working families all across America,” the president said. “This isn’t, sort of, overly personal here, guys,” he clarified later, responding to specific questions regarding his attacks on Romney for unreleased tax returns. “This is pretty standard stuff.”
President Obama’s assurances run contrary to other reports. Politico’s recently published e-book Obama’s Last Stand by reporter Glenn Thrush alleges that “Obama really doesn’t like, admire or even grudgingly respect Romney,” and says that Obama’s re-election campaign is more aimed at defeating Romney just for the sake of it rather than furthering his own ideology (something left-wing website Democratic Underground relishes as “delicious”).
Numerous media outlets have offered warnings to the president regarding his perceived disdain for Romney and his alleged negative campaign. The Atlantic Wire warns that Obama “should be careful” with his “disdain” for Romney, pointing out that John McCain’s thinly-veiled disdain for Obama in the 2008 elections backfired on him dramatically.
Other opinion pieces have cropped up alleging that a “negative campaign” is Obama’s only hope for re-election. Hugh Hewitt of The Washington Examiner tells us to “expect every last absurd, offensive and despicable attack to be mounted,” against Romney, arguing that there “just isn’t anything else left,” for Obama to use except a dirty campaign, noting that “desperation is never gracious.”
I guess we’ll find out.
What do you think? Is President Obama running a negative campaign against Mitt Romney? If so, is it his only option? Why is Obama on the offensive? Sound off!