ABC News’ Emily Friedman ( @EmilyABC ) reports:
The Romney campaign issued a fiery response to a Politico article published this morning that reported that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign will work to “destroy” Romney in “a ferocious personal assault” on Romney’s “character and business background.”
“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,” said Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a written statement.
“President Obama will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed. 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.
The Politico article quotes “aides and advisors” to President Obama who say their strategy is “grounded in the early state expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.”
“The onslaught would have two aspects,” reports Politico. “The first is personal: Obama’s re-elect will portray the public Romney as inauthentic, unprincipled and, in a word used repeatedly by Obama’s advisers in about a dozen interviews, ‘weird.’”
And one source described by Politico as a “prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House,” says in the article, “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney.”
In addition to Rhoades statement, Romney’s senior campaign advisor Eric Ferhnstrom tweeted a link to the Politico article with the comment, “Obama sees Romney as biggest threat, goes from 'hope and change’ to ‘kill and destroy.’”
Romney has refrained from engaging his GOP counterparts in negative campaigning so far, instead focusing all of his web videos and slams at President Obama. In the past few days alone, Romney has remarked that Obama is “out of his depth when it comes to understanding how the private economy works” and, in commenting on the S&P downgrade said, “The president’s failure to put the nation’s fiscal and economic house in order has caused a massive loss of coincidence that resulted in an embarrassing downgrade.”
“In the Carter era, it was called ‘malaise,’” said Romney in the statement. “Under President Obama, it’s called meltdown.”