Obama trying to hang onto power: Romney

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said US President Barack Obama is running a campaign of "division, attack and hatred".

Updated: Aug 15, 2012, 22:22 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Washington: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said US President Barack Obama is running a campaign of "division, attack and hatred" and asked him to lift the tone of political discourse.

In a close and increasingly acrimonious race, Romney went on national television to say he thinks Obama is "running just to hang onto power, and I think he would do anything in his power" to remain in office.

He was interviewed on "CBS This Morning" from the battleground state of Ohio, one of less than 10 key states that will help decide the November election. Obama campaign spokesman Jennifer Psaki said Romney`s comments seemed "unhinged."

The race, in which Obama holds a slim lead according to recent polls, has seen more heated exchanges since Romney announced his vice presidential running mate, conservative Rep. Paul Ryan. The pick has seemed to energize both campaign crowds and the Republican Party`s base, which has been wary of Romney`s more moderate positions in the past as Massachusetts governor.

Even before Ryan was named, independent groups supporting the respective campaigns had been running increasingly provocative TV ads. One from a group supporting Obama suggested Romney was personally responsible for the cancer death of the wife of a man who worked at a steel plant that was bought and shut down by Romney`s venture capital firm, Bain Capital.
Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden told a mostly black audience in Virginia that Republicans seeking less regulation of the financial industry wanted to "unchain Wall Street." Biden went on to say, "They`re going to put y`all back in chains."

Speaking later yesterday, Biden said he had meant to use the term "unshackled." But he did not apologize, and he mocked the Romney campaign for showing outrage at his remark.

In today`s interview, Romney said, "I can`t speak for anybody else, but I can say that I think the comments of the vice president were one more example of a divisive effort to keep from talking about the issues."

Democrats see Romney`s personal attacks on Obama`s character as an attempt to dent the president`s favorability ratings with voters, which lead Romney`s in most polls despite a slow-growing economy and stubbornly high unemployment. Both campaigns well know the economy is the top issue in the election.
Obama`s campaign today was launching state-specific efforts to target elements of Ryan`s austere, small-government budget proposals, including an overhaul of the federal health insurance program for older Americans, or Medicare.

With Agencies inputs