(CBS News) WASHINGTON - A simmering campaign feud over outsourcing has boiled over, with the president's campaign and Mitt Romney's accusing each other of lying about Romney's record at the helm of Bain capital. The fight is notable for how personal and antagonistic it has become nearly four months before voters cast their ballots in the presidential election.
Despite Mitt Romney's personal demand for an apology, the president's campaign again said it's not happening. In fact, the President doubled down on charges that Romney was in command at Bain Capital when Bain took over companies that outsourced American jobs.
Campaigning in Richmond in a cool pouring rain, the president heated things up on the issue of outsourcing.
"I don't wanna pioneer in outsourcing," he told an audience. "I want some insourcing. I want to bring companies back."
The president's campaign also issued a new attack ad mocking Romney's singing as it accused him of sending jobs overseas.
The ad drew a tough response from the Romney campaign. "Every day," the statement said, "President Obama hits a new low."
Romney relaxed at his lake house with family Saturday. But on Friday, he denied the outsourcing charge. In several interviews, including one with CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford, Romney said he left Bain well before it controlled several companies downsizing in America.
"Jan, I had no involvement with the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999," he said.
However, Bain's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission after 1999 repeatedly list Romney as sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer, President, and even managing director. Still, Romney is adamant he did not manage Bain at the time.
But the Obama campaign charged that Romney was either "...misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or... misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people," essentially calling Romney a criminal or a liar.
"What he wants to do is try and divert any attention from his lack of success," Romney told Crawford in the CBS News interview, "and frankly it's beneath the dignity of his office. He ought to apologize for what he's doing."
Outsourcing is a major swing-state issue, so the stakes in winning this are high. Romney argues that you can be a CEO and still not manage a company. But the president argues when are an owner and CEO, you are still responsible.