US political rivals accuse each other of negative tactics | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 15.07.2012
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US political rivals accuse each other of negative tactics

The mudslinging is very much underway in the US presidential race. While Barack Obama has accused his Republican rival Mitt Romney of a poor record in business, the president is being accused of distorting the truth.

US President Barack Obama declined a request for an apology from Romney, whose record with a private equity firm that outsourced US jobs Obama had poured scorn upon.

Instead, the Democrat campaign responded with two new television ads, one of which showed Romney requesting an apology - before showing him condemning Obama on a range of issues.

"He sure asks for a lot of apologies. When he's not busy launching attacks," the advert said.

A second commercial showed the Republican candidate singing a patriotic song while drawing attention once again to the outsourcing of jobs by the firm Bain capital, of which Romney was once CEO.

Denial of role in management

Ex Massachusetts governor Romney took a leave of absence from the firm in 1999, before the bankruptcies, although the precise timing of his effective and eventual departure is disputed. The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that public records showed he was still registered as a top official at Bain for three more years afterwards.

Romney objects to the insinuation that charges that he personally transferred American jobs to China and Mexico. An observation by one member of the Obama team that Romney might be guilty of a felony for misreprenting his position has drawn particular ire.

Romney claims that he had "no role whatsoever" in the management of the company after 1999, when he left to take over the running of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.

Romney's spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, accused the president of bending the truth about Romney's record on Saturday. "The American people deserve the truth and they certainly deserve better from their president," said Saul.

Obama was campaigning in northern Virginia on Saturday and was set to head on to Ohio on Monday. Recent polls show him to be ahead in both states, each viewed as crucial to his reelection.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the US Green Party chose its nominee, Jill Stein, a 62-year-old doctor, for the presidential race.

rc /mr (AP, Reuters)