(NEW YORK) — Obama Campaign spokesperson Jen Psaki on Saturday defended using rhetoric that includes words like “felony” when talking about Mitt Romney.
“Of course the President wants to have a highbrow debate about these policy issues and what the American people actually care about,” Psaki said. “What was said was either [Romney] was misleading the American people, or he was misleading the SEC, which it would be a felony. Nobody — she, Stephanie Cutter did not accuse anybody of taking — of committing a felony. She raised the issue that you can’t have both,” Psaki said, referring to Deputy Campaign Manager Cutter’s comments earlier this week.
“We know that Mitt Romney is leading with his business credentials as his top qualification for being President. And we think that it’s completely justified to raise questions … about why he had an account in Switzerland, why he had investments in the Cayman Islands, what exactly this corporation was in Bermuda,” she continued. “The evidence is mounting. And that’s really what we should be talking about. What is — where are Mitt Romney’s investments? What is the truth? Why can’t we have more details?”
When a reporter pressed: “But that doesn’t define a highbrow debate, does it?’
Psaki replied, “Those are raising questions about the qualifications he is putting forward of why he should be president.”
Psaki made the remarks to reporters traveling on Air Force One to Richmond, Va., where President Obama continued his two day campaign swing through the battleground state.
She also used a laptop to screen the Obama campaigns latest web ad for the handful of press traveling on the president’s plane.
The ad, titled “Mitt Romney Asking For Apologies While Launching Attacks,” calls out Romney for attacking Obama – and uses Newt Gingrich attacking Mitt Romney. Psaki said the web ad would be spread by social media.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took one question on Syria and reported that UN staff were blocked from rescuing civilians by Bashar al-Assad’s government forces.
Carney said he couldn’t confirm the report but added: “It’s just another indication of how, no matter what he says and no matter what promises he makes, we have to see what he does and judge him by his actions, and thus far his actions have been revolting and heinous. And it’s just another indication of why the international community needs to unify behind the proposition that a transition in Syria needs to take place without Assad in power.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dylan Byers, CNN
Azadeh Ansari and Angela Dewan, CNN
Z. Byron Wolf, CNN