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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs