Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Obama launches 'bullshitter' attack on Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands with President Barack Obama before the start of the third presidential debate on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Mitt Romney shakes hands with President Barack Obama before the start of the third debate
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) at the start of a debate at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama waves on stage before the debate with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as moderator Bob Schieffer (C) of CBS looks on at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as moderator Bob Schieffer (C) of CBS looks on at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) debates with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) at the start of a debate at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney prepares to sit down at the start of a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as moderator Bob Schieffer (L) of CBS looks on at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) stands on stage with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

President Barack Obama has taken his rhetorical attacks on Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, to a new level, calling him a “bullshitter” in a still-to-be-published interview with Rolling Stone magazine.



The comment sent fresh shockwaves through the election race today as Mr Obama wound up a cross-country, 48-hour blitz through seven states.



The President savoured an unsolicited – if not totally unexpected – endorsement from General Colin Powell, a Republican who was Secretary of State to George W Bush.



For days, Mr Obama has been calling Mr Romney untrustworthy because of his sudden transition in the last laps of the campaign from a hard-right conservative to a moderate, giving birth to his “Romnesia” mantra. But the Rolling Stone remark, contained in a brief excerpt of the interview published by Politico, strips the varnish from that view.



It came when an executive editor of the magazine said his six-year-old had asked him to send luck to the President for his re-election. The extract concludes with this piece of reporting: “You know, kids have good instincts,” Obama offered. “They look at the other guy and say, ‘Well, that’s a bullshitter, I can tell’.”



A hoarse Mr Obama was also set tonight to become the first serving President to take part in early voting, casting his ballot in his home town of Chicago.



Getting supporters to take advantage of early voting laws in several swing states has become crucial to the President as he tries to hold on in a down-to-the-wire contest. A new Associated Press-GfK poll showed him trailing Mr Romney nationally by 45 per cent to 47 per cent.



The Obama campaign said it had had no early warning of the Powell endorsement. He telephoned the General to thank him. “We think it sends a strong signal about why he should be sent back for another four years to be commander in chief,” said Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman.



“I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on,” the Republican said on CBS television. He questioned Mr Romney both on his economic plan, arguing that his tax-cut proposals don’t work alongside his promise to cut the deficit, and his foreign policy credentials. “I’m not quite sure which Governor Romney we’d be getting with respect to foreign policy,” he said.

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