By REID J. EPSTEIN | 8/15/12 –
Mitt Romney’s declaration that President Barack Obama is leading a campaign of “anger and hate” marked a new phase of the campaign — one in which he’s willing to attack Obama in personal terms.
Romney spent nearly a year talking about how Obama is a “nice guy” who just doesn’t understand how the economy works because he has no private-sector experience. But as the campaign grew more intense and the attacks more personal, Romney dropped the idea that he has any admiration for Obama. In its place is a description of Obama as the purveyor of a campaign not worthy of the office.
The strategy counters what the Romney camp views as the Obama team’s sustained maligning of the former Massachusetts governor. Aides and advisers are quick to mention one Obama adviser’s 2011 comment to POLITICO that the president’s team would need to “kill Romney” to win reelection amid a struggling economy.