In a sign of the vitriol with which he intends to wage this year’s campaign, President Obama Thursday evening likened statements by Mitt Romney to cow dung.
Here’s what he said during a fundraiser at the Iowa State fairgrounds in Des Moines, as recounted by the White House transcript:
Now, I know Governor Romney came to Des Moines last week; warned about a “prairie fire of debt.” That’s what he said. (Laughter.) But he left out some facts. His speech was more like a cow pie of distortion. (Laughter.) I don’t know whose record he twisted the most — mine or his. (Laughter.)
Cow pies, for those of you raised in urban settings, is farm talk for excrement.
Obama also continued his bitter attacks on Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. While he was careful to say that private equity firms like Bain are acceptable, his jab at Romney suggested he thinks otherwise.
Now, the main goal of a financial firm like Governor Romney’s is not to create jobs. And by the way, the people who work at these firms will tell you that’s not their goal. Their main goal is to create wealth for themselves and their investors. (Applause.)
As noted in a piece today by the New York Times, Obama’s slashing style could backfire by diminishing him as president. Previous presidents running for reelection – including Bill Clinton – waited until much later in the campaign even to begin referring to their opponent by name
But Obama is just picking up where he left off in the Midterms elections.
During the lead up to Election Day 2010, Obama called on Latinos to “punish” their “enemies” at the polls, singled out businesses and the Chamber of Commerce for attack, and charged Republicans wanted to hand Washington back to special interests, destroy the planet’s environment, and had a plan to keep the economy in lousy shape so they could win votes. He even said Republicans don’t want African Americans to vote.
The dung metaphor may be a new low. But it’s not inconsistent with what we’ve seen from a president who presented himself in 2008 as above politics but who appears instead to be perfectly comfortable in the political gutter.