Obama defends attack ads, highlights ‘sharp contrast’ with Romney

President Obama defended the tone of his campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney against charges he has gone negative, saying that he intended to highlight the “sharp contrast” between himself and his GOP challenger.

In an interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose taped last week and aired Monday, Obama said that the positive ads his campaign has run have simply failed to receive the same attention as tougher attacks on Romney.

"First of all, we've done a whole slew of positive ads that say how we need to change our education system, how we need to change our tax code, how we need to rebuild America, how we need to promote American energy,” Obama said. “So those just don't get enough attention in the news, but we're very much promoting — and if you look at my stump speeches I spend whole slew of time — sometimes people say I talk too long because I'm outlining all the things that we want to get done.

"What is true is that there's a sharp contrast, probably a sharper contrast, as we've seen philosophically between myself and Mr. Romney," Obama added. 

Obama's comments come after his reelection campaign intensified its attacks last week over Romney’s business record as head of private equity firm Bain Capital. The Obama campaign has argued that Romney helped American businesses move jobs overseas and has called for him to release more tax records following media reports detailing his offshore financial holdings.

Romney hit back on Friday, calling for the president to apologize after Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter suggested he might have broken the law and misrepresented his tenure at Bain in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In another interview aired Sunday, Obama rebuffed those calls and said he “won’t be apologizing,” and the campaign doubled down on its attacks, releasing a new negative attack ad featuring a clip of Mitt Romney singing “America the Beautiful” while hammering him on outsourcing. 

Obama said the tougher ads were necessary to highlight the policy differences between him and Romney. 

“I think he’s a patriot, I think he loves his family, but he has a particular theory of how to grow the economy that has to do with providing tax cuts for the folks at the very top, eliminating all regulations and somehow that is going to generate solutions to the challenges we face,” said the president.

“I’ve got a very different approach, and I think it’s entirely appropriate for the American people to understand those two theories, and the more detailed we get into what he’s saying and what I’m saying, I think that serves this democratic process well,” he continued.

“Politics are about choices,” Obama said.