Bruised Obama Goes Negative
US president Barack Obama this week proved he has no qualms about casting aside his image of a transformative figure if he thinks turning his campaign negative will score more points.
The rabid anti-Romney offensive came as the Obama campaign absorbed a one-two punch of bad news - that jobs growth had stalled in June, and that over the same month Mitt Romney had taken $106 million in donations.
That is $35 million more than Obama raised during the same period.
In response, a cadre of on-message Democrats fanned out across the morning political TV programs attacking Romney for his Swiss bank account and holdings in a Caribbean tax haven.
''I've never known of a Swiss bank account to build an American bridge,'' Maryland governor Martin O'Malley said. ''I believe it's time to let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, folks like myself, to expire."
O'Mally was referring to a statement Obama made Monday that he wanted to keep tax cuts introduced by his predecessor for everyone earning under $250,000.
In doing so, Obama exploited the White House as a campaign backdrop - securing untold hours of free airtime - and he had distracted attention from his own bad performance.
He had also painted Romney into a corner, forcing him to defend tax cuts for millionaires and even billionaires.
The move came as Romney on Sunday had very publicly attended fund-raisers at some of these same people's homes, winning another $3 million for his White House bid.
This far, the Democrat push to turn Romney into a lapdog for the super-rich has met with some success, with poll numbers in battleground states where Obama's attack ads are running show a shift in the president's favor.