ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
Mitt Romney says President Obama is out to “assassinate” his character.
In an interview to be broadcast on Fox News on Monday night, Romney made a point of bringing up a three-month-old anonymous quote offered by a Democratic strategist who used a provocative choice of words. This time, Romney did too.
“One of his advisers said their strategy will be to kill Romney,” Romney said in the interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “That’s not a very exciting phrase to be using, so I’m not looking forward to that.”
But in the same interview Romney predicts President Obama’s re-election strategy: “What he’ll do is try and assassinate — on a character basis, his opponents and — or his opposition. I’m hoping that’s me, but I’m not looking forward to those attacks.”
Romney was referring to a blind quote in a Politico story published in early August under the headline: “Obama plan: Destroy Romney.” The story quotes a person described as a “prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House” as saying: “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney.” The story also quoted anonymous Obama advisers who said part of their approach would be to portray Romney as “weird.”
Back then both the Romney campaign and Obama’s top strategist, David Axelrod, panned the piece.
“That doesn’t reflect our thinking,” Axelrod said in an interview after the Politico article was published, calling the sourcing “garbage.”
And Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said at the time that it was “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.”
The anonymous sourcing aside, it appears that Romney is not going to let the Obama campaign forget about it.
“The president can’t run on his track record. His track record is miserable. When he was running against president — or — I say running against President Bush, because he was always criticizing President Bush, he criticized him with regards to Israel, for instance, and the lack of progress in — in the peace process in Israel. It’s a failed record,” Romney told Hannity in the Monday interview. “So he can’t talk about his record and get re-elected. So what he’ll do is try and assassinate, on a character basis, his opponents and — or his opposition. I’m hoping that’s me, but I’m not looking forward to those attacks.”