Gibbs: I Didn’t Say Romney Was ‘weird’

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) — U.S. President Obama’s re-election campaign does not plan to assault Republican front-runner Mitt Romney’s character as “weird,” an Obama adviser said Sunday.

“If I was making the case to somebody about why you should vote for somebody and why you shouldn’t vote for somebody else, I don’t think ‘weird’ would be in the top 50 words I’d use to describe that person,” Obama adviser and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I don’t think that’s how the people of America process their political choices,” Gibbs said.

Politico reported Aug. 9 Obama aides and advisers were preparing to center Obama’s re-election campaign on “a ferocious personal assault” on the former Massachusetts governor’s character and business background, calling it inauthentic, unprincipled and “weird.”

Gibbs said he was “happy to say that I’m not quoted either off the record, on background or on the record in that article,”

Romney officials brushed off the character campaign, telling Politico Obama could do nothing to turn the election away from being a referendum on his economic stewardship.

Gibbs also said Obama was “not worried about his job — he is worried about creating jobs for millions of Americans who’ve been out of work for six months or two years or longer.”

This has been Obama’s focus “each day of the last 2 1/2 years,” Gibbs said.

Americans are struggling with “the most challenging economy of their lifetimes, the most challenging economy that we’ve ever lived through,” he said.

People undoubtedly wish the economy improved more quickly, but “I think what the American people want to see are two political parties that can work together.”

Gibbs said Obama would deliver a major address after Labor Day to propose new measures to promote job creation as well as larger long-term deficit cuts than mandated.

Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told the program “the misdirection of this country [under Obama] is pretty obvious to us all.”

He said the field of GOP presidential hopefuls was filled with “good people with a lot of character,” but “the more the merrier.”

When pressed if “more the merrier” meant he thought a stronger presidential candidate might emerge, he said: “There’s nothing wrong with searching for the best we can do, right? I think that’s what all Americans are hoping for. And my own view has been that, although I like all those folks — there’s something to like about each one of them — that this is a more-the-merrier situation. That’s why we have extended the nomination process. I look forward to how these candidates develop their messages.”

Other politicians whose names have been mentioned as possible presidential hopefuls include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

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