Romney: Obama engaged in "character assassination"

(CBS News) Mitt Romney told CBS News Wednesday that despite calls from conservatives to be more aggressive, he is not going to engage in a campaign of "character assassination" - despite the Obama campaign's willingness to do so.

"This is a campaign, not about character assassination, even though that's what I think has come from the Obama camp by and large," Romney told CBS News' Jan Crawford before a rally in Toledo, Ohio. Crawford asked Romney if he was saying the Obama campaign was engaged in character assassination.

"Oh yeah, sure, they try and completely misrepresent my point of view, along with why I'm in this race," he said. "But I think fundamentally the American people are interested in who can make their life better. Who can make people get better jobs and better incomes. And I can. He's proven that he does not have the capability to do that."

Later, Crawford asked Romney if the mainstream media is "in the tank for President Obama," as many conservatives allege.

"Well, I think we have a system of free press, people are able to provide their own perspective based on their own beliefs, I think there's some people who are more in my camp, there's a lot of people who are more in his camp, and I don't worry about that," Romney responded.

Pressed, Romney added: "I don't think anybody in my business thinks they wouldn't like to re-write the stories, and write the media accounts in a way that's more favorable to them, but I don't worry about that. I take my message out, I know I'll have a chance through ads, through the debates, to get my message home to the American people."

For the full transcript of Jan Crawford's interview with Mitt Romney, see next page.