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Not such a “nice guy” anymore, huh?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 12, 2012 05:48 PM

Now that President Obama’s campaign character assassins are basically calling Mitt Romney a liar, tax cheat, and felon, maybe he’ll stop calling him a “nice guy.”

Mitt Romney’s campaign manager said Thursday that President Obama should apologize for a suggestion by his deputy campaign manager that the presumptive Republican nominee could have committed a felony by misrepresenting his role at Bain Capital to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But the Obama campaign stood by the remark Thursday, saying the Romney campaign “either misled the American people about when he left Bain or misled the SEC.”

Romney campaign manager Matt Rhodes fired the salvo after a press call by Team Obama earlier in the day.

“President Obama’s campaign hit a new low today when one of its senior advisers made a reckless and unsubstantiated charge to reporters about Mitt Romney that was so over the top that it calls into question the integrity of their entire campaign,” said Rhodes in a statement to reporters. “President Obama ought to apologize for the out-of-control behavior of his staff, which demeans the office he holds. Campaigns are supposed to be hard-fought, but statements like those made by Stephanie Cutter belittle the process and the candidate on whose behalf she works.”

Flashback: “No More Mr. Obama is a Nice Guy:”

There is a reflexive desire among a certain species of moderate Republicans to be perceived as “civil” by liberal opponents who believe that the mere existence of free-market, limited-government conservatism is an indecent affront to humankind. All aboard the U.S.S. Lost Cause.

This disastrous, bend-over bipartisanship is a hard habit to break. In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain rode the “Barack Obama is a nice guy, but vote for me” wave to crashing defeat. In 2012, McCain’s endorsee, Mitt Romney, has made “Barack Obama is a nice guy but in over his head” a standard stump-speech talking point.

Conservatives of good will who’ve watched President Obama brutalize his enemies have one question for the nice-guy niceties: Why, GOP, why?

Romney’s smarter-than-thou strategists explain that he can’t scare off independents and Democrats with straight talk about Obama’s thuggery. But he’s turning off the conservative base, on whom his hold is tenuous. More importantly, Romney’s McCain-lite impersonation is also writing off independents and Democrats who’ve come to realize
what the myriad targets of White House bullying have learned the hard way over the past four years: Barack Obama is not a “nice guy.”

…Romney’s surrogates insist that conservatives should “stick to the issues.” But Obama’s by-any-means-necessary ruthlessness is an issue.

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