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. Bill

    Whine, whine, whine. Give it a rest or go find something else to do, you thin-skinned wimp.

    August 15, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Yawn. Mittens' Medicare and welfare ads are demonstrably the point that you can even look at documents that prove them so...and this is the tack Mittens' chooses? Methinks we're witnessing more projection when he tries to claim that Obama is desperate and such.


    August 15, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Leftcoastrocky

    I am waiting for the specifics of Romney's economic plan. It appears that he will be getting rid of the mortgage deduction.

    August 15, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Expat American

    "The president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred," Romney said...
    The Republicans are experts at this – was Romney sleeping from 1992-2008?
    Collaborators complaining about their haircuts.

    August 15, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. UDidntBuildThat

    Obama controlled all the legislative branches, (ie the Senate, House and WH), for 2 yrs. Where was the jobs bill then? The House has passed a jobs bill and numerous other Bills that the Senate and WH have failed to pass or even try to work with.

    Why does Obama constantly try to deflect and distract and not talk about the issues like the economy, medicare, debt and deficit?
    Why doesn't Obama offer his plan and solution for the economy? U forget that Obama controls the WH and the Senate. If he were a leader of any sorts, he would find a way to work with others in his party. But he cannot. Since he is the guy at the top that is Obama fault. (Bill Clinton did it)
    Why doesn't Obama defend his record of $6Trillion added to the deficit and share how well that has worked for the economy?
    Instead we get stories of Shamus, the "watch out for boogie men" tactics , medicscare lies, lies that Romney cause the death of woman, typical liberal gutter politics.
    Obama:"Look over there my stupid sheeple. I have no ideas, I am an empty suit. I never ran anything not even my own hosue. My policies have failed. I have no solution to this mess even though I lied that I did. But hey the other guy over there had his dog on his car". And the stupid sheeple falls for it everytime.

    August 15, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. once upon a horse

    Mitt Romney is beating Sarah Palin at the moment for really being "thin skinned" he can dish it out but when it is thrown back at him he whines in the media about it. President Obama is attacked 24/7 from FoxNews to the right wing talk shows and this happened from the time he took office. He's been called un-American, NOT an American, socialist, communist. Marxist, you name it..even his wife has been attacked in the media. Mitt should look back on some of his friendly ads he did on Newt Gingrich. That magazine article that asks "is Romney a WHIMP?" just might be true.

    August 15, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. JPNAmerican

    This will be the most negative campaign fight this nation has ever seen but it is foolish to believe it's only one sided. From what I seen Romney has been just as negative in his attacks as Obama has been and their super pacs fight dirtier. To say Obama is being low or Romney is being low is foolish at this point. All gloves are off and this will be a fierce battle for the next couple months. Good luck

    August 15, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Helena

    "The president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred," While the Romney campaign is all about kittens & rainbows.

    August 15, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. UDidntBuildThat

    What else can Obama run on? Are the "chains" on the bank working? Is the economy getting better?
    Distract, divide, dishonest=Obama's campaign slogan.

    August 15, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Lionel

    Romney is a bully people. Once a bully, always a bully. Remember the incident in high school where he held down a kid and cut off his hair. This man does not deserve to be president and he will not look out for the middle class.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    August 15, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. lolo

    This robot sold his soul to the devil to get the tea party votes now he does not know how to get out of it. He is tied to them hook line and sinker. Romneyhood you are the one being racist and dividing the country. Show us those taxes. You could not even step up to the plate and pick your own VP. Everyone sees the wimp in you. How much of a tax break are you getting for the horse this time around?

    August 15, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Harry From Pa

    Doesn't Mitt know that he sounds like he is talking about himself. He is willing to do or say anything to get elected. And Biden was right, the middle class has been in chains and we are not going back to it.

    August 15, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |

    Hatred is suggesting that the President is a thief. Hatred is calling him anything less than a child of God which repeatedly do. On the other hand, the attack ads against you are relevant. You do pay lower taxes than me. Your firm was responsible for shipping jobs overseas. You are waging a war against women. I don't see any lies in those ads. This country will be more divided than ever if Willard is elected. We just don't like you!!!

    August 15, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "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.
    So, it is now official....for now. The Romney/Ryan Plan is their framework for "fixing" the economy. Unfortunately, the Romney/Ryan Plan does nothing towards job creation other than provide tax cuts to the so called job creators.

    August 15, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Craig from LA

    Willard is a disgrace. All this whinning from a man that wants to be Commander And Chief. You think this campaign is tough, what are you going to do when foreign leaders talk tough – whine like you are now? This guy needs to man it up – what an embarassment.

    August 15, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Linda

    Romney doesn't have any room to talk...he is the one that is all about dividion, attack and hatred....that is the motto of the Republican Party....what is Obama supose to do while Romney and his money machine creates ads that are full of lies.....if he wants to clean up the negative campaign it needs to start with him.....he can dish it out but he sure can't take it when Obama comes back at him......Romney will put the middle class in chains if he is allowed to let the banks right their own rules.....Romeny is nothing but a greedy rich millionaire that isn't content with what he has but wants more....and that means taking it away from you and me.........the middle class and giving more to the rich......

    August 15, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Sniffit


    And Deputy Doublethink, consummate rich spoiled brat, has the chutzpah to come out claiming that Obama is sinking to new lows and is desperate? WEthinks you protest too much, Mittens.

    August 15, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Mr. Moderate

    Pot meet kettle. If Mitt is whining like this now about ads attacking him that are no different than the ones he used to get the nominations, I wonder how he will make it to November. Seem to not seem to stand the heat rather well.

    August 15, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "The president seems to be running just to hang on to power
    -------------------------------------------------What can you say to a man for whom it's become a habit to make such outrageous and blatantly false statements except.....KMA Mittens.
    I mean, you can't reason with him. You can't have meaningful dialogue. It would all be meaningless, and wasted spit.
    So KMA it is then.
    Obama 2012. Period.

    August 15, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. WiredWeirdinSF

    Since the president and his team are doing it, why would Romney take it back. Did anyone else see Wasserman-Schultz get all caught up in her lies with John Robers Sunday morning. She had to walk back a lot of that.

    August 15, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. truth hurts

    Obama has given us nothing but attacks, demonization of anybody or any business that he dislikes, divisiveness pitting one group of Americans against another, over and over and over. All to shift blame for HIS four years of failure. Obama is what the Democrat Party is all about these days. They are a far left "progressive"/lefitst/socialist/communist conglomeration using union thug practices. OWS was their concoction to further attack and demonize the successful among us. Obama and the Demorcats are a formula for disaster and failure, which is what we have seen for 4 years.

    Honestly America... you want another 4 years of this disastrous nightmare?

    Obama 2012 – Forward and Into the Fiscal Abyss

    August 15, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. v_mag

    Rob-money, on the other hand, is all about tax cuts for the super-rich, destruction of the ACA, Medicare, and Social Security, and business dealings with death squad sponsors in El Salvador. And not being transparent with his taxes (or lack thereof).

    Release your returns or drop out of the race.

    August 15, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Mr. Romney's campaign behavior thus far has been pathetic.

    August 15, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. johnnie

    Amazing! Romney even said it with a straight face. Someone give him a mirror. He should take his own advice/critism . Strange that the media gives the GOP a pass when comes to shoveling the dirt !!! How come ??? Oh, sorry. We're objective reporters. Right !!

    Thank you

    August 15, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "how closely the two pair up on their budget plans, including their visions for Medicare. "


    August 15, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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