Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney jabbed his Democratic rival Barack Obama Tuesday over the president's complicated relationship with one of his party's leading political dynasties: the Clintons.
The presumptive GOP nominee told an Iowa audience that Obama had ignored former President Bill Clinton's 1996 declaration that "the era of big government is over."
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
"President Obama tucked away the Clinton doctrine in his large drawer of discarded ideas, along with transparency and bipartisanship," Romney said. "It's enough to make you wonder if maybe it was a personal beef with the Clintons."
Romney's insinuation of bad blood between Obama and the Clintons was not an off-the-cuff remark, but part of a formal speech the candidate read from a teleprompter in a Des Moines hotel ballroom.
Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton battled through an acrimonious Democratic primary in 2008. However, the election year ended with Clinton accepting a job as secretary of state in Obama's cabinet.
Former President Clinton and Obama occasionally tangled during that primary as well, with the former president calling Obama's claim of being a stronger opponent of the Iraq war than Hillary Clinton "the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."
In April, the Romney campaign sought to capitalize on past disagreements between the two men, and sent reporters a collection of news stories documenting the insults Obama and Clinton had traded during the 2008 campaign.
But the former president told donors this year at an April fund-raiser that Obama "deserves to be re-elected" and, in an Obama campaign online video, lauded the president's decision to order the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.
"President Obama tucked away the Clinton doctrine in his large drawer of discarded ideas, along with transparency and bipartisanship" – So Romney was one of the Republicans who couldn't find the Health Care bill on the web site where it was posted, clearly. And perhaps he was out there laying people off while Obama was bringing Cantor and Boehner together with Pelosi and Reid in the hopes of dealing with the budget. Or maybe Romney just doesn't know what "bipartisanship" really means–that seems a common Republican issue these days.