In response to a story that President Obama's re-election campaign is prepping a "ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney's character and business background," the Romney campaign sent CBS News a blistering statement from campaign manager Matt Rhoades deeming such a strategy "disgraceful" and "despicable."
"It is disgraceful that President Obama's campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to 'kill' his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks," said Rhoades. "President Obama will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed. Neither despicable threats, nor President Obama's billion dollar negative campaign, will put Americans back to work, save their homes, or restore their hopes. On November 6, 2012, this will change."
Rhoades' comment is in response to a Politico story entitled "Obama plan: Destroy Romney," which says the Obama campaign, resigned to running in a negative environment that makes the positive rhetoric of Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign a hard sell, plans to aggressively tear down the man who currently appears to be the most likely Republican to face Mr. Obama in the general election.
The story, which cites anonymous advisers to the president and re-election campaign as well as Obama chief strategist David Axelrod, said the Obama campaign plans to cast Romney as inauthentic and "weird." The campaign also reportedly plans to spotlight Romney's history running venture capital firm Bain Capital, which laid off workers at some of the companies it acquired. At the firm American Pad and Paper, for example, 250 workers were laid off after Bain Capital took over in 1992.
The Obama campaign cast the Politico story as inaccurate in a statement to CBS News.
"Anyone purporting to hold a crystal ball for our strategy suggesting otherwise does not speak for the campaign," said re-election campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt. "The crocodile tears from the Romney campaign, which has been nothing but negative, do not pass the credibility test."