Four years after hope and change, the Obama campaign is seen, by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio in one poll, as more negative than Mitt Romney's, perhaps owing to its attack ads and harsh criticism of Romney's business record and personal finances.
Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod has a different theory. Perhaps, Axelrod said on Wednesday, the Obama camp is viewed as a purveyor of bitterness because Republicans are spending big money to get voters to think that Obama is running a negative campaign.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on Tuesday suggests that voters think Team Obama is running a harsher campaign than Romney is. Twenty-two percent found the Obama campaign more negative than the Romney campaign, while 12 percent said Romney's was more negative.
“Partly, that's because the Romney campaign and their friends in the super-PAC world have just spent tens and tens of millions of dollars specifically on spots accusing Obama of running a negative campaign,” Axelrod said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “So, I'm not surprised to see those numbers jump a little.”
Axelrod said that there was no doubt that their campaign has been tough, but he maintained that looking into Romney’s business record and policies should be part of the process.
The Obama campaign, in recent weeks, has released several negative ads that have gotten attention on the national level, including “Firms” and “Makes You Wonder,” an ad that question whether Romney even paid taxes.
Axelrod also said that he does not expect a bounce in the polls after the convention because of the tight nature of the race.
“There's not a lot of play here,” he said. “There's not a lot of room for a big bounce of the sort that we've seen.”