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Romney wants 'higher tone' campaign

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney has accused president Barack Obama of running a campaign "of enmity and jealousy and anger" and called on him to lift the tone of political discourse.

In a close and increasingly acrimonious race, Mr Romney went on national television to say he thinks Mr Obama is "running just to hang onto power, and I think he would do anything in his power" to remain in office.

He was interviewed on "CBS This Morning" from the battleground state of Ohio, one of less than 10 key states that will help decide the November election.

The race, in which Mr Obama holds a slim lead according to recent polls, has seen more heated exchanges since Mr Romney announced his vice presidential running mate, conservative Paul Ryan. The pick has seemed to energise both campaign crowds and the Republican Party's base, which has been wary of Mr Romney's more moderate positions in the past as Massachusetts governor.

Even before Mr Ryan was named, independent groups supporting the respective campaigns had been running increasingly provocative TV ads. One from a group supporting Mr Obama suggested Mr Romney was personally responsible for the cancer death of the wife of a man who worked at a steel plant that was bought and shut down by Mr Romney's venture capital firm, Bain Capital.

On Tuesday, vice president Joe Biden told a mostly black audience in Virginia that Republicans seeking less regulation of the financial industry wanted to "unchain Wall Street."

He went on to say, "They're going to put y'all back in chains." He later said he had meant to use the term "unshackled." But he did not apologise, and he mocked the Romney campaign for showing outrage at his remark.

In his latest interview, Mr Romney said, "I can't speak for anybody else, but I can say that I think the comments of the vice president were one more example of a divisive effort to keep from talking about the issues."

Mr Obama's campaign was launching state-specific efforts to target elements of Mr Ryan's austere, small-government budget proposals, including an overhaul of the federal health insurance program for older Americans, or Medicare.

Mr Romney and Mr Ryan make clear they plan to campaign aggressively on Medicare. In person and in a television ad, the Republicans argued that Mr Obama is the one who cut spending for Medicare to put money toward his divisive health care overhaul.

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