Obama says campaign goes 'overboard'
September 24th, 2012
10:14 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama says campaign goes 'overboard'

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's campaign took President Barack Obama to task Sunday night for a comment the president made in a CBS News interview that is posted online but did not air on the network's broadcasts.

"You know, do we see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign, the mistakes that are made, or the areas where there's no doubt that somebody could dispute how we are presenting things?" Obama said in a "60 Minutes" interview. "That happens in politics."

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Seizing on the comments, Romney's campaign put out a statement late Sunday night, saying Team Obama and its allies have "repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for the truth" this cycle.

"Tonight, even President Obama himself admitted his campaign has gone 'overboard' and made mistakes. The real test now is whether or not the President will change course and honor his long-discarded promise to change the tone in Washington," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement.

While both campaigns push back on every ad released by their opponent, Romney's team and other Republicans especially railed on the president and his allies over an ad released by the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action last month. The ad essentially placed blame on Romney for the loss of a steelworker's health insurance and his wife's eventual cancer death after the worker's plant went bankrupt following a buy-out from Romney's former private equity firm.

The controversial ad quickly created a firestorm of criticism against the group, run by former Obama White House officials. While the spot did not broadcast on the airwaves–with the exception of a local TV station accidentally airing the ad–news media attention gave it a tremendous amount of exposure.

The Obama campaign never officially condemned the spot. And, by law, super PACs and the campaign they support are not permitted to coordinate.

Fact-checkers, however, have called out both sides in the race for being misleading in ads and talking points. Romney especially took heat for making the case last month that Obama's administration had "gutted" the welfare-to-work program–a claim widely disputed by independent fact-checkers and news organizations.

In August Romney faulted outlets for showing bias in their fact-checks, even though his campaign has used analyses by some of the groups, like FactCheck.org, to bolster its own arguments. Furthermore, his pollster, Neil Newhouse, said on ABC News the campaign will not be "dictated by fact-checkers."

In his CBS interview Sunday, Obama–who has been highly critical of negative campaign ads in his stump speeches–argued the war of words in the final 43 days of the race may be "sharp" but will provide a point of contrast for voters.

"The truth of the matter is, most of the time we're having a vigorous debate about a vision for the country, and there's a lot at stake in this election," Obama said. "So is it going to be sharp sometimes? Absolutely. But will the American people ultimately have a good sense of where I want to take the country and where Governor Romney wants to take the country? I think they will."


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Mitt Romney's campaign took President Barack Obama to task Sunday night for a comment the president made in a CBS News interview that is posted online but did not air on the network's broadcasts"

    Whatever, TeamRomney. To be clear, America is ready to take Romney to task for creating one of the most divisive campaigns in history. Not quite the legacy Romney wanted no doubt, but Romney only has himself to blame. Serves him well to finally be on the other end of the spectrum ... the losing end. Greed and power go hand in hand with this man. Beyond that, he hasn't much to offer America or his supporters. He never did have anything to offer.

    September 24, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Michael

    Mittens if he wins, will be another George Bush! He squandered 1/4 trillion in surplus and turned it into a 11 trillion deficit typicla repuglican hyperbole! Mittens will, if elected get a nation rebounding stock market, Jobs, Mortage sales, and moving on all cylinders and take us out the back door economically drowning this nation for good! Mittens will start NUCLEAR WARS WITH IRAN, SYRIA, RUSSIA, CHINA, N.KOREA AND PAKISTAN WHICH WILL COST TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS, MILLIONS OF LIVES AND THIS NATIONS ECONOMY WILL FOREVER TANK AND NEVER RISE AGAIN!

    September 24, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    "repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for the truth"
    -------------------------------------
    Willard, you are always ready to point the finger when your campaign is the one constantly telling blatant lies. From taking the work requirement out of welfare, the President not taking a stance on China, to the President being an appeaser & apologizing for America, etc. Take a long look in the mirror Willard.

    September 24, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. judy

    the romney campaign does not know where to go and attackes every remark made trying to make something stick. They have no ideas and no solutions just a lot of name calling and phoney remarks about how they c are. Vote all the repos out . move Forward.

    September 24, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. rs

    Certainly the equation of (very) big money, outside PACs and a Presidential election are bound to cause a degree of over-reach on the part of the campaigns. Mr. Obama's campaign is certainly guilty of that by aiding and abetting the "Romney doesn't pay income tax" event a few weeks back, but Mr. Romney's campaign and the GOP seem to hold the record for the longest sustained suspension of reality- nothing but lies and vapor from that camp for months. Even this weekend Mr. Romney asserted that Mr. Obama "doesn't stand up to the Chinese- while ingoring Obama filing more than double the number of complaints with the WTO- ergo it was Mr. Bush and the GOP who were "weak". Likewise soft on illegal immagration- yet Obama has deported 2 times the number Bush did; bad for the economy, yet the market is up 100% from the Bush crash, and on and on.
    Stretching the truth is one thing- lying or being delusional- well, that is something else. RIP GOP.

    September 24, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Florida Mom

    The President admitted that his ads go overboard and are not true and the MSM has not condemned him or his campaign for it. Yet if Romney had said that they would be all over it.... shameful behavior from the unbias press. Ha.

    September 24, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. 200 TON HAMMER

    Mitt romney please show the middleclass familes your power point plans on paper not behind closed locked doors of the super rich hand full of billionaires guys club thanks former govenor mitt romney

    September 24, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Pancha Chandra

    The Romney team is clueless as to how to make any in-roads to Obama's solid lead and support from Middle class and poorer sections of American society. Time is so very important. Obama continues to be Presidential with vital facts at his finger tips. This election is about the wealth of ideas not about material wealth. The reelection of Obama will certainly mean continuity of well-thought out policies and ideas.

    Pancha Chandra brussels

    September 24, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. BIll

    Romney's destruction of the man's employment caused his family's loss of insurance and added stress to the family. In that context the wife died of cancer. Romney's vulture capitalism aggravated the stress on the family and likely contributed to the illness of the woman and to her death. The Obama ad said no more than what I have summarized.

    September 24, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Stay the course Mr. President! After the Republican garbage is swept out in November, you will be able to get some good things done!

    September 24, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. truth hurts

    Obama: American people ultimately have a good sense of where I want to take the country
    ============================================================
    Yes, we do. 8.3% unemployment the new norm. TRILLION dollar deficits the new norm. Record numbers on food stamp, the new norm. National debt going over $22 TRILLION. Oh yeah, we know and we don't want to go there!!!

    September 24, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. MJ

    At least he can admit to a mistake and own his role in good and bad things. When Mitt makes a mistake or goes "overbaord" he pretends everything is great and that everything said and did is complete true. I will be voting Obama, a long time GOP supporter.

    September 24, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. Jan

    DON'T DO THE CRIME IF YOU CAN'T DO THE TIME...OR IN THE CASE OF ROMNEY DON'T DO THE BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS IF YOU CAN'T ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES. Romney, the truth is your business practices affect lives. Thousands of people have been fired and lost insurance BECAUSE OF YOUR VENTURE CAPITALISM AND OUTSOURCING OF JOBS...and while you are enraged about one ad by a support pac for President Obama the truth is there are many who had suffered by the lack of HEALTH INSURANCE, HOUSING, FOOD, EDUCATION, ETC. your hands...ALL OF THOSE THINGS YOU MENTIONED IN YOUR 47% MEETING. And as you said it is not your job to worry about them, AS YOU PERFECTLY DEMONSTRATED WHEN YOU WERE AT BAIN. SO PLEASE STOP CRYING FOUL!!!!

    September 24, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Both sides go overboard. How can Romney's team say that Obama does that without implicating themselves? If they don't, it is considered hypocracy.

    September 24, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Arnastu Buttwehak

    ha – poor old Mitt. "Reckless disregard for the truth". And I'm sure he looked serious and kind of outraged – or what he imagines outraged ought to look like, from having seen it portrayed in movies and television shows and on the visage of his lovely wife – when he said it. Oh wait, it was his campaign flak who said it – maybe he can portray human emotion better than Mittens. Though Mitt is better at patent hypocrisy, having no deep sense of 'the truth' except as a strategic device by which his interests are advanced.

    September 24, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Peter Principle

    I really don't get Team Romney's strategy of trying to seize on these trivial statements from Obama - "you can't change Washington from the inside," "political campaigns sometimes go overboard" - and turn them into big campaign gaffes. Nobody's buying it, and they only divert attention from the REAL gaffe: the dreadful Obama economy.

    I mean, at this point, if Romney can't run and win on 15% unemployment (accurately counted), then he should just hang it up. Because spending the next six weeks trying to win daily news cycles is just a slow way to lose.

    September 24, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    Has Flip come out and said the same thing....admitting that mistakes are made and things go too far? If not, I would much rather have someone come out and say they've made mistakes and fess up rather than "I never make mistakes. It's always them that are doing it. and so on" Try again Flip. He's being honest. You couldn't admit the same thing even if you're life depended on it

    September 24, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Hillcrester

    Obama admits to mistakes; divinely-inspired has to pretend he has never made one.

    September 24, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Lionel

    Romney and his superpacs are grasping at straws. It is over Mittens, Juan Percent.

    September 24, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Hank

    Obama needs to move on that's it no buts and ifs about it. He could have done just a little bit more for the economy other than demonstrating his selfish attitude by pushing his health care. He should have given all that stimulus money to American people so they could have spent it not to banks where they buried it???? He must think he will go down as one of America’s best Presidents.

    September 24, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Chelle

    At least he adMITTed it Mr. Romney. Do you not realize that your average middle-of-the-road voter knows this already? Only the extremists on both sides are unaware that some of what is presented is stretched a wee bit too far.

    September 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. The Elephant in the Room

    Mitt Romney does not run an accurate campaign or a tight ship like the President does. He can not admit mistakes. He said, just last night, that his campaign team was doing well. He even used Trump-esque hyperbole ; you know "VERY, VERY" this, "VERY, VERY" that. He can`t manage a campaign so I don`t want he managing the country.

    We know that Mr Romney himself tells lies [Republican, Newt Gingrich said so on the air - let`s go to the videotape].

    September 24, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. DFW Dann

    Romney's biggest selling point is his experience as a CEO. Yet his time at the head of a billion dollar start up (his campaign) has seen mismanagement at almost every level.

    September 24, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama called Romney out about all his so-called tough talk on Iran; "If Romney wants to go to war with Iran, then he ought to say so". President Obama is right to call him out because Romney sounds like a war crazy man talking who isn't President, putting Israel in direct danger and our country not prepared to start that war.

    September 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |