President Barack Obama defended his blunt, frequently personal attacks on Mitt Romney as an “entirely appropriate” effort to highlight the choice voters face in November. The embattled incumbent told CBS News in an interview broadcast Monday morning that his campaign has run “a whole slew of positive ads.”
“What is true is that there’s sharp contrast, probably as sharp a contrast as we’ve seen, philosophically, between myself and Mr. Romney,” Obama told CBS. “Politics are about choices.”
The president’s campaign has spent months hammering away at Romney—on everything from his time at Bain Capital, to his refusal to release the customary number of years of tax returns, to his financial holdings in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, to some of his verbal missteps on the stump. In a recent conference call, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter even suggested that Romney might be a felon. The former Massachusetts governor has been no slouch in the attack ad department himself.
In the two-week stretch ending July 9, 89 percent of Obama’s ads attacked Romney, while 94 percent of Romney’s attacked Obama, Bloomberg News reported, citing data from Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising. Obama’s campaign ran 37,022 negative ads over that period, compared to 13,962 for Team Romney.