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High school yearbook photo of Mitt Romney
Hair length beyond reproach
Mitt Romney whines:
In the campaign, instead of talking about our respective ideas, what's [Obama is] doing is trying to attack me on a personal basis.
Character assassination has become the nature of [Obama's] campaign.
Even if this were true, even if the only thing Obama's campaign talked about was Mitt Romney's character ... well, boo-fucking-hoo. Mitt Romney has spent a good chunk of this campaign impugning the character not just of President Obama but also that of Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum. And you know what? That's politics. Character does count for something in a president, and it's fair game to talk about it ... when you're telling the truth.

For example, it's fair to say that Mitt Romney has demonstrated himself to be one of the most dishonest presidential candidates in history. But there's a reason for that: it's fair because it's true—and because being a liar is bad. And it's fair to say that Mitt Romney played by a different set of rules than everyone else when he ran Bain Capital—because it's true, and because playing by a different set of rules is bad.

But the core of President Obama's case for his reelection has nothing to do with Mitt Romney. He's running on his own merits. Moving the country forward has nothing to do with Mitt Romney. Continuing the economic recovery from the Great Recession has nothing to do with Mitt Romney. Killing Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with Mitt Romney. Ending the war in Iraq had nothing to do with Mitt Romney. Saving the auto industry had nothing to do with Mitt Romney. Hell, even Obamacare has nothing to do with Mitt Romney—although that's more a matter of Mitt's choice than anything else.

And to the extent President Obama's case does focus on Mitt Romney, it has more to do with Romney's ideas than his character. I'm not saying Romney's character—or lack thereof—doesn't matter. It does matter. A lot. But the fact that Romney would double down on the trickle-down economic policies of the Bush years matters even more.

So when Mitt Romney whines that it's hypocritical for people to criticize him for making character attacks, he doesn't understand the true nature of the criticism. People have a problem with Mitt Romney's attacks when he lies. And when he claims that President Obama doesn't love America, that's a lie.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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