Romney: Obama is ‘running just to hang on to power’

Holly Bailey
August 15, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Mitt Romney stood behind his claim that President Barack Obama is waging a campaign based on "anger" and "hate," telling "CBS This Morning" the president is diminishing the White House with his attacks.

"I think people across the country who have seen the president's ads and the ads of the people who are supporting him .... have been a little astonished by what he's done," Romney said. "The president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred. My campaign is about getting America back to work and creating greater unity in this country."

Asked to specify how exactly Obama is running a campaign of "hatred," Romney pointed to campaign ads the president and his supporters are running and accused the president of campaigning on "divisiveness based on income, age, ethnicity and so forth."

"It's designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger, and this is not, in my view, what the American people want to see," Romney said. "I know what I am running for. I am running to get America working again. … The president seems to be running just to hang on to power. I think he will do anything in his power to try and get re-elected."

[Related: Obama camp dismisses 'unhinged' Romney attack]

Asked about the Obama campaign's comments he has come "unhinged," Romney laughed.

"They were very measured. I could be much more dramatic, I think," he said. "I think unhinged would have to characterize what we've seen from the president's campaign."

He criticized Vice President Joe Biden's suggestion yesterday that his fiscal policy would "put you all back in chains"—telling CBS it was a "factually inaccurate" metaphor unbecoming of the Obama administration. "I think comments of this nature sink the White House just a little lower," Romney said. "The American people expect something better from the president than these kinds of divisive comments. ... Talking about me and attacking me is demeaning to the nature of the process, particularly at a time when we face the kind of challenges we face."

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Romney dismissed any major policy differences between him and Rep. Paul Ryan, his new vice-presidential running mate. Pointing to his criticism of Obama's proposed cuts to Medicare, CBS anchor Anthony Mason pointed out that Ryan's budget proposal would "make those same cuts to Medicare."

"First of all, Congressman Ryan has joined my campaign, and his campaign is my campaign now, and we are on exactly the same page," Romney replied. "And my campaign has made it very clear: The president's cuts of $716 billion to Medicare ... those cuts are going to be restored if I become president and Paul Ryan becomes vice president."