Romney campaign blasts Obama 'attack machine' for 'slinging mud' in energy ad

Mitt Romney accused President Obama Wednesday of unfairly painting him as a pawn of “Big Oil” in order to distract from what he called the White House’s “failed” energy policies.

“The Obama attack machine has started," the Romney campaign says in a new 37-second Web video. “Spending millions to sling mud, err oil at Mitt Romney.”

The video is a response to the Obama campaign’s most recent television advertisement, which seeks to link Romney to the oil industry. It’s the latest tactic by the Obama campaign to undercut GOP attacks on the White House over soaring gas prices.

The Romney campaign argues in the new video that Obama’s ad amounts to “slinging mud,” blasting the president for running “attack ads.”

“But Obama's mud can't cover up his failed energy policies,” the Romney video says. “Polices that are hurting small businesses and working families.”

The video notes that gas prices have greatly increased during Obama’s time in office, in what is becoming a common GOP attack on the president. But White House officials note that gas prices were low when Obama came into office because of the economic downturn.

The Romney video highlights a series of common GOP criticisms of Obama on energy, including the $535 million loan guarantee to failed solar company Solyndra.

“America deserves solutions, not attack ads covering up Obama's failures,” the video says. “Four years of failed leadership are all we can afford.”

Republicans have sought to put the responsibility for soaring gas prices, which reached a national average of about $3.93 per gallon Monday, squarely on Obama’s shoulders.

Obama has worked aggressively in recent weeks to counter the GOP's criticism of his energy policies. The president delivered a series of energy speeches across the country in which he stressed that there are no quick fixes to high gas prices, while touting his “all of the above” energy strategy.

Obama also threw his support behind a measure to eliminate $24 billion in tax breaks for the largest integrated oil companies over the next decade. The Senate rejected the measure last week amid GOP opposition, providing the campaign with ammunition in their push to tie Republicans to the oil industry.