News / USA

US Presidential Election Takes Negative Turn

Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama (Democrat), right
Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama (Democrat), right
Public-opinion polls in the United States show a virtual tie in the political campaign between incumbent President Barack Obama of the Democratic Party and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's presumptive nominee.  The race has taken a decidedly negative turn in recent days.

This year’s campaign is largely being fought out on the television airwaves, with both the Obama and Romney campaigns relying on attack ads to soften up the opposition.

The Obama campaign is going after what is supposed to be Mitt Romney’s strength - his record as a private businessman before he became governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

As he campaigns around the country, President Obama is urging voters to reject a return to Republican policies on the economy.

“I promise you we will be finishing what we started in 2008. We will not be going backwards! We will be going forward," he said. "And we will win this election.”

In his campaign appearances, Republican Mitt Romney is trying to keep the election focused squarely on the president’s economic record, which public opinion polls indicate is a huge problem for Obama.

“His priority is not creating jobs for you. His priority is trying to keep his own job," he said. "And that’s why he is going to lose it!”

Analysts say the Obama campaign has been somewhat effective in focusing the debate on Romney’s business background and his reluctance to disclose more than two years of his income tax returns.

“There is a race to define Mitt Romney to the American voter, and the race is between the Obama people who want to define him negatively and the Romney people who want to define him positively," said Peter Brown, pollster for Quinnipiac University. "The campaign that does the best job defining Mitt Romney is going to win.”

Some prominent Republicans have urged Romney to release more tax information. Most but not all recent presidential candidates have released several years of tax returns, though Republican John McCain released only two years of his tax returns in 2008.

As for the Obama attacks on Romney, analyst Charlie Cook says the president’s campaign has little choice but to go on the offensive.

“He has got to basically discredit, disqualify Romney to win this," he added. "Because this is an economy that for anybody who is president of the United States right now would have a really, really hard time surviving this.”

The president and his Democratic allies want to make 2012 a "choice election," says John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

“Well, Republicans are hoping it is purely a referendum on the president, and the president is going to try to make it something of a choice between his record and what he is going to paint as extremism on the Republican side,” Fortier said.

Romney’s next big decision is choosing a vice presidential running mate, with most of the speculation focused on Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More