In a new TV ad, the Mitt Romney camp accuses President Barack Obama of employing the same scare tactics and negative campaigning that he himself had spoken out against as a presidential candidate in 2008.
“Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters," the ad shows President Obama saying at the Democratic party convention back in 2008.
"If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from,” says President Obama.
“We expect more from a president,” concludes the ad.
President Obama has made scrutiny of Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital a key part of his 2012 effort. His campaign has described the former head of the large private equity firm as an “outsourcer-in-chief” – a reference to controversial claims that during Mr. Romney’s watch at Bain Capital, American jobs were shipped overseas.
Outsourcing is a deeply emotive issue in American political campaigns. The Romney campaign has returned fire, calling President Obama the true “outsourcer-in-chief”.
President Obama said in a CBS TV interview to be broadcast Friday that the focus on Mr. Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital would continue. Democratic party polling indicates the attacks have been effective at sowing doubt in the minds of some voters in swing states.
“I think it is entirely appropriate to look at that record and see whether in fact his focus was creating jobs and he successfully did that. And when you look at the record there are questions there that have to be asked,” President Obama told interviewer Charlie Rose.
President Obama is campaigning on Friday and Saturday in the battleground state of Virginia – a state he carried in 2008 which will be key to his reelection this year.
A Pew Research Center poll released Friday indicates that voters give President Obama a slight advantage over Mr. Romney when it comes to handling of the economy.
“Romney has not seized the advantage as the candidate best able to improve the economy,” the poll authors state. “In fact, he has lost ground on the issue over the past month.”