Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign blasted President Barack Obama’s “disgraceful” reelection tactics, citing a report that the incumbent planned brutal, personal attacks.
Obama, whose upbeat “hope and change” slogan powered his historic 2008 victory, will portray Romney as “inauthentic, unprincipled” and “weird,” according to the Politico publication that covers US politics.
“Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney” if the Republican frontrunner turns out to be the nominee, an anonymous Democratic official told Politico, which identified its source as “aligned with the White House.”
The president faces an uphill battle to a second four-year term, with the November 2012 election sure to turn on his handling of the sour US economy, still grappling with stubbornly high unemployment of 9.1%.
In troubled times, incumbent US presidents often strive to portray their challenger as unfit for office, an effort to minimize the degree to which the election is a referendum on their record.
The report drew a swift, angry reply from Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, who charged Obama “will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed.”
“It is disgraceful that President Obama’s campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to ‘kill’ his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks,” Rhoades said in a statement.