(CNN) – President Barack Obama's re-election campaign wasted no time responding to front-runner Mitt Romney's performance at CNN's debate Tuesday night.
In a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, campaign manager Jim Messina repeated attacks the campaign and national Democrats have been making recently against the former Massachusetts governor, targeting him as an inconsistent candidate on positions.
Messina claimed that Romney had previously hired undocumented workers but now takes a hardline stance on illegal immigration. The issue was raised in the debate Tuesday, and Romney fought back denying the accusations that he hired the workers knowingly.
Romney said when he found out that a company he paid to mow his lawn had hired undocumented workers, he told them to let them go, saying: "I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals."
But Obama's campaign hit Romney for objecting to the workers not because "he thought it was wrong" but because he was running for political office.
Messina was also critical of Romney for referring to the payroll tax cuts as "temporary little Band-aids" and said Romney's economic plan wouldn't benefit the middle class or those facing home foreclosures.
Messina said the only core principle driving Romney is "getting elected."
"That is why Romney doesn't have any credibility when he's out there saying he's fighting for the middle class," Messina said.
Romney's campaign responded Tuesday, saying the president has turned the country into "an economic disaster zone."
"He and his campaign will continue to try and distract Americans from his failed economic record over the next year but it's not going to work," said spokesperson Andrea Saul in a statement.