- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In a campaign that has become nastier by the day, President Obama ratcheted up his rhetoric against Mitt Romney’s economic policies Wednesday, labeling his tax plan “trickle-down snake oil.”

The “snake-oil” attack came in the middle of Mr. Obama’s regular remarks about Mr. Romney’s plan to keep taxes low for all Americans, including those making more than $250,000 a year.

“They have tried to sell this trickle-down snake oil before. It didn’t work then — it won’t work now,” he told a crowd of supporters in Dubuque, Iowa, where first lady Michelle Obama campaigned with him.

During the speech, Mr. Obama also targeted Mr. Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, and his plans to revamp Medicare by partially privatizing it.

“Their plan ends Medicare as we know it,” Mr. Obama said. “Their plans makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.”

The “snake-oil” line came the same day Mr. Romney during an interview with “CBS This Morning” called on Mr. Obama to change the tone of the political discourse, arguing that his campaign was being driven by “division and attack and hatred.”

Mr. Romney was reacting in part to a racially tinged remark Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. made to a mostly black audience in Danville, Va.

Reacting to GOP criticism that the Obama administration had had imposed too tight a regulatory grip on Wall Street, Mr. Biden said the Republicans wanted to “unchain Wall Street.” He went on to say, “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

On CBS Wednesday morning, Mr. Romney said he thought Mr. Biden’s comments “were one more example of a divisive effort to keep from talking about the issues.”

But the Obama campaign is not apologizing, instead deeming Mr. Romney “unhinged,” and pointing to a string of negative campaign ads the former Massachusetts governor has stood by in recent weeks.