Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney said for the second time today that he "repudiated" any efforts by a PAC to attack Obama over ties to Rev. Wright.
Amid a flurry of news reports that surfaced after The New York Times reported a group of Republican strategists proposed a smear campaign aimed at revisiting attacks on Obama over his ties to Rev. Wright, Romney made clear he did not agree with this campaign course.
"I want to make it very clear I repudiate that, that effort. I think it's the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can respectively be about the future and about issues and about a vision for America," Romney said to the press after an event in Jacksonville, Fla.
Romney went on to say that he believed the President was choosing to run his campaign focused on "character assassination," using the Bain ads the Obama campaign aired this week as an example.
He argued that the ads, which focused on his career at his former private equity firm, were an "inaccurate" portrayal of him as a corporate titan bolstering the pockets of wealthy investors at the expense of the working class.
"My effort at Bain Capital as you know was in effort case designed to make the enterprises we invested in more successful, to grow them. There's this fiction that some have that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with lots of money and killing the enterprise," Romney said. "Our approach was to always try and make the enterprise more successful and the purpose of the President's are not to describe success and failure but to somehow suggest that I'm not a good person, or not a good guy and I think the American people will know better than that if they don't already."
Obama's campaign fired back in a statement arguing that Romney's accusation was divisive rhetoric.
"Today, Mitt Romney had the opportunity to distance himself from his previous attempts to inject the divisive politics of character assassination into the presidential race. It was a moment that required moral leadership, and once again he didn't rise to the occasion. Throughout the course of the campaign, he has repeatedly refused to stand up to the most extreme voices in the Republican Party. If this is the 'leadership' he has shown on the campaign trail, what can the American people expect of him President of the United States?"
Romney will be completing his two day swing through Florida this week at a fundraiser in West Palm Beach tonight. The most recent polls show Romney and Obama in a statistical dead heat in the sunshine state -- a key swing state. When asked by reporters if Florida is a "must win," Romney said that because the state has gone both Republican and Democrat it will be a "battlegroud," adding, "Florida is a state that I am counting on being successful."