Published August 09, 2011
Republican 2012 contender Mitt Romney's campaign is calling "disgraceful" actions reportedly planned by the Obama re-election campaign to portray the Republican frontrunner as "inauthentic, unprincipled" and "weird."
Politico reported Tuesday that the Obama team is planning a "ferocious personal assault " and character assassination on Romney, who it suspects will become the eventual 2012 Republican nominee.
"Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney," a prominent Democratic strategist close to the White House told Politico.
According to the newspaper, Obama campaign's two fronts versus Romney are the "weirdness" factor and his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a multi-million dollar venture capital firm founded by Romney before he became Massachusetts governor.
Obama officials reportedly told Politico that they intend to depict Romney as the essence of Wall Street greed as well as uncomfortable in his own skin.
After reading the report, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades fired back that Obama "will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed."
"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," Rhoades told Fox News.
"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 said.
Obama has remained personally popular -- scoring as high as an 86 percent approval rating in the District of Columbia in a recent Gallup poll. But while he's personally well-liked, the president's overall approval rating is 43 percent compared to 48 percent disapproval, according to Gallup.
With that knowledge and the poor economic climate, Politico reported that the Obama campaign has no choice but to give up the 2008 campaign of "hope" and turn negative, portraying the incumbent as "principled" whereas Romney is an "opportunist."
Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman, responding to Rhoades, later told Politico that said "anyone purporting to hold a crystal ball" to the team's strategy is not speaking for the campaign. He also said the Romney camp's "crocodile tears" don't pass "the credibility test."
Fox News' Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.