August 15th, 2012
09:54 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney stands by new attacks against Obama

(CNN) - Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended his blistering new attack lines against President Barack Obama's campaign, in which he hammers the president's re-election team for recent ads and the vice president's controversial statement the day prior.

"The president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred," Romney said on CBS' "This Morning."

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He later added: "The president seems to be running just to hang on to power. I think he'll do anything in his power to try and get re-elected."

His comments come after Romney used some of his harshest words yet against the president. While speaking at a campaign event in Ohio Tuesday, Romney faulted Obama for being "intellectually exhausted," and called on the president to "take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America."

Part of his frustration, he said, stemmed from a pro-Obama super PAC ad that linked Romney with the death of a cancer patient, an ad which Obama's campaign has yet to condemn, Romney said.

A spokesman for the Obama campaign responded to Romney's speech Tuesday, saying the Republican candidate seemed "unhinged."

“Gov. Romney’s comments tonight seemed unhinged, and particularly strange coming at a time when he’s pouring tens of millions of dollars into negative ads that are demonstrably false,” said Obama campaign Press Secretary Ben LaBolt.

Also in the interview Wednesday, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee specifically pointed to Joe Biden's remarks Tuesday, when the vice president told a Virginia crowd that Romney's vision of Wall Street reform would cut back on regulations and put "y'all back in chains."

Romney's campaign quickly seized on the comment, calling it a "new low" in the campaign, while some conservatives on Twitter accused Biden of using racial undertones.

On Wednesday, Romney reiterated that Biden's comments are "demeaning to the nature of the process" and "diminish the White House" but did not elaborate further on what he took issue with in Biden's remark.

"I think I've expressed myself well enough. I think the American people had the same reaction, which is they listened to the vice president and they thought, again, an unfounded charge and a metaphor which is not uplifting, not uniting. But one which is once again a divisive attack," Romney said.

Biden later clarified the remarks at an event in Wytheville, Virginia, suggesting his comments were in reference to House Speaker John Boehner's use of the word 'unshackled' in talking about Ryan's House budget proposal.

"The last time these guys unshackled the economy, to use their term, they put the middle class in shackles. That's how we got where we are," said Biden.

"And I'm told that when I made that comment earlier today in Danville, Virginia, the Romney campaign put out a tweet. You know, tweets these days? Put out a tweet, went on the airwaves saying, 'Biden, he's outrageous in saying that,' I think I said instead of 'unshackled,' 'unchained.' 'Outrageous to say that," said Biden. "That's what we had. I'm using their own words. I got a message for them. If you want to know what's outrageous, it's their policies and the effects of their policies on middle class America. That's what's outrageous."

Romney also answered questions about his new running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, in the CBS News interview, further aligning himself with the House Budget chairman's policy.

"His campaign is my campaign now. We're on exactly the same page. My campaign has made it very clear," Romney said. His comments come after repeated questioning in recent days over how closely the two pair up on their budget plans, including their visions for Medicare.

Romney also joked about Ryan's reputation as an exercise junkie, specifically the congressman's penchant for P90X, an intense home workout program designed by Tony Horton.

"I have never tried that. I might have him show me how to do it someday," Romney said. "I get on the elliptical or treadmill. That's about it for me. That workout of his, he's in pretty good shape."

- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Trickle down doesn't work

    Would anyone actually feel proud to have him as their President? Honestly now.

    August 15, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    All things considered, the new low was putting candidate Mitt Romney up for nomination to begin with.

    August 15, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. lexgreen

    Candidate Romney: 'I think I've expressed myself well enough.'

    Yes, Mr. Romney. Say no more. If it gets any worse, just ask for help, we'll find a nice
    padded room you can rest in. . .

    August 15, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Amused

    The Republicans and the tea party in particular make a science out of hate and division...empty words, Willard.

    August 15, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Hotdog

    He never gives specifics on any thing. I am anxious to see what proposal he has to offer since everyone thinks that his business skills will solve our current problems. None of our current problems will be solve until both parties learn to work together. Ryan's plan is not going to fly. It does not make common sense. It is a plan that ensures the wealthiest people in our society to continue the accumulation of wealth.

    August 15, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. DaveF

    One of these days Romney will start telling us the truth but that is to much to ask. He misquotes, edits, misleads and tells out an out lies. How about telling us how you evaded taxes (son of boss) & leads seniors to believe that Obama cut $700B out of their benefits (not true) Also how about you telling us your PLAN(S)???? NOT AFTER U BECOME PRESIDENT??? But don't worry you will not have to because you age going to LOSE.

    August 15, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |

    Where's your tax returns romney the tax cheat ?????and did you give back that 60,000 you accepted for your campaign from the gambling magnet in your state of wis ,??????

    August 15, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Wilson

    Romney goes after Obama's failed policies. Obama goes after Romney putting a dog on a roof, goes after the wife, now is targeting Ryan's wife. Hmmmm. Obama getting desperate, doesn't say much positive about his character. No positive record to run on, so make up stuff to attack character. No wonder the liberals have no credibility at all.

    August 15, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. carlos

    the HOODS willard and ryand are suffering from the worst case of QUERULOUS PARANOIA....

    August 15, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Wilson

    The democrats and the liberal left in particular make a science out of hate and division...attacks with no credibility from Obama.

    August 15, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. Chuck

    How exactly does Mitt Romney, a guy whose campaign is centered around taking things the President says and then editing them to look like he's saying the exact opposite, get off complaining about dirty campaign tactics?

    August 15, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. mgc tampa

    This from the man that ran ads that destroyed his opponents, this from the man that routinely runs ads that are 100% lies, this from the man that doesn't know truth when it hits him in the face??? Really, if this man wins america has nothing to be proud of and lots to be disgusted by.

    August 15, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |

    Then Congress can focus on REFORMING the insurance companies, as they did the Banking system.
    Dodd-Frank was common sense legislation. However, I wouldn't go as far to say they've been reformed. They've been deemed Too Big To Fail. That's a problem. They all need to be broken up. As a healthcare provider I can tell you firsthand of the waste and abuse in Medicare. Not only is their massive fraud, there are providers doing procedures that are proven NOT medically necessary. Prime example is chronic back pain. There is only but so much therapy you can get to relieve pain. I suggest you get some Flexeril and call it a day.

    August 15, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Joan

    Romney complaining about negative ads is almost laughable. Does he think people have amnesia or are stupid? Who ran the most negative, despicable campaign during the primaries? Who crushed Gingrich and Santorum with negative ads? Yup, Mr. Romney. Which party swift boated John Kerry with their "fear and smear" campaign? The Republicans. Which party has the most vocal negative spokesman like Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck, Hannity, Palin, Trump, Cantor, Norquist and the list goes on and on? You guessed it. The Republicans must have thought the Democrats would sit back and let them run another "fear and smear", "swift boating" campaign. Well, Pres. Obama's team is not doing that and the Republicans seem back on their heels. They are whining about things they have done in spades. Get real, Mr. Romney. This is the big leagues. People see through your whining. Show your income tax returns, fully explain your time at Bain, give a clear plan for the economy ( is it Ryan's or not) and fully outline you foreign affairs plans. Your trip to Europe was a disaster and embarrasing . The media is trying to make a big story out of the "low blows" which isn't surprising. They have also lowered the bar with their coverage.

    August 15, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Sniffit

    "Maybe Romney is just telling the truth, Eh??"

    What part of "demonstrably false" do you have trouble understanding? This isn't "he-said-she-said." Mittens' attacks regarding Medicare and the welfare waivers are 100% provable lies. Heck, there's documents to prove of which is enacted legislation that's on the books as existing law. He is LYING.

    August 15, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Jeettu

    Romney's comments and criticism of Obama is really the "new low" to use the terms by Rom ney's campaign. It is funny when Romney and his campaign can call the President "intelectually exhausted" and stand by it as a "civic" discussion but when Obama's campaign points to some lies in Romney's statements and his campaign's statements, then the President is not decent enough. When will Romney and his republican friends stop their double standards and hypocratic views? It is clear that these republicans including Ryan and Romney don't care for the middle and poor class people; they just want to ensure that their rich friends get richer. If not, why don't they answer the questions like: how to provide healthcare to the 40+ million Americans without insurance? How to educate the poeple in USA who cannot afford education? How to make USA self-sufficient in energy and still improve the environment? How to provide social security, medicare and medicaid at better levels than currently available withlout leaving out a substantial portion of the people and without increasing the burden of those retiring now or in the future? The fact is that they don't want to answr these questions as they don't fit their purpose and idealogy. The rich don't need answers to such questions and hence republicans do not een think that these questions exist. Therefore, we cannot vote them into office in November. Let us make sure that Romney does not win the WH and others republicans are out of the House and the Senate. Vote democratic all the way in November.

    August 15, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. California Gary

    After the way Romney "slimed" his primary opponents and has thrown one lie after another out there about our "food stamp" president........he now wants to cry about the tone of the campaign? Get real Romney......your problem is that you are going up against a campaign that won't roll over for you like your primary opponents did. Get used to it......

    August 15, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "Maybe Romney is just telling the truth, Eh??"

    What part of "DEMONSTRABLY false" is hard for you to understand?

    August 15, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Romney is a little mixed up as always; his is the campaign of "division and anger and hate". Throw in lying and you have described Mitt the Twit's campaign perfectly!

    August 15, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. g

    bain was funded by foreigners,mitts money is in foreign banks,his campaign is funded by foreigners -what has mitt ever done that is american

    August 15, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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