While Mitt Romney, his team, surrogates and supporters have not been shy about leveling criticism against Obama's record over the last nearly four years, the Politico reports the verdict is in and when it comes to personal attacks, Obama's team indulges in them far more frequently than Team Romney.
But there is a particular category of the 2012 race to the low road in which the two sides are not competing on equal terms: Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.
With a few exceptions, Romney has maintained that Obama is a bad president who has turned to desperate tactics to try to save himself. But Romney has not made the case that Obama is a bad person, nor made a sustained critique of his morality a central feature of his campaign.
Obama, who first sprang to national attention with an appeal to civility, has made these kind of attacks central to his strategy. The argument, by implication from Obama and directly from his surrogates, is not merely that Romney is the wrong choice for president but that there is something fundamentally wrong with him.
To make the case, Obama and his aides have used an arsenal of techniques — personal ridicule, suggestions of ethical misdeeds and aspersions against Romney’s patriotism — that many voters and commentators claim to abhor, even as the tactics have regularly proved effective.
They list plenty of examples in the four page Politico article, so go read it all.
The problem for Obama is he cannot run on his record on social issues. His signature "achievement" is Obamacare and Obama, a Democratically controlled House and Senate, rammed it through despite the fact that the majority Americans were opposed to the bill as a whole. He could highlight it for his base, but he already has them in his pocket, so touting it now would just bring back the anger from Independents, Centrists and Moderates over the way Obamacare was jammed down their throats.
He cannot tout the stimulus because despite assertions from his own team that the $800+ billion package would keep unemployment below 8 percent, it has been above 8 percent for over 40 months.
Obama surrogates and even Obama's Hail Mary pass at the Democratic Convention, Bill Clinton, all claim that America is better off now than when Obama took office, but Americans, by an overwhelming majority do not agree that America nor American families are better off now than they were four years ago.
Romney's attacks are largely based on Obama's failed policies leading the U.S. into the weakest recovery since the Great Depression and there is plenty of ammunition to draw from.
Obama has nothing but personal attacks against Romney to fall back on and it has been his plan all along as a Democratic strategist told Politico back in August 2011, " Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney."
It is not surprising that the imbalance of personal attacks is being noticed but it is surprising that it has now been reported by the Politico.