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US campaign hits new low.

SO much for the new, intellectual debate promised after the wonkish Paul Ryan Paul Ryan may refer to:
  • Paul Ryan (ATWT), character from As The World Turns
  • Paul Ryan (comic artist) (1949–)
  • Paul Ryan (guitarist)
  • Paul Ryan (politician) (1970–)
  • Paul Ryan (singer) (1948–1992)
 joined the White House race.

In a flurry of charge and counterpunch Tuesday, the battle for the US presidency erupted, reflecting the fast deepening antipathy between the incumbent Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney This article or section contains information about one or more candidates in an upcoming or ongoing election.
Content may change as the election approaches.
.

Ryan's debut as Republican vice presidential nominee on Saturday, pundits predicted, would inject serious substance into a gutter trawling campaign, given his penchant for number crunching Refers to computers running mathematical, scientific or CAD applications, which perform large amounts of calculations. See number cruncher.

(application, jargon) number crunching
 on budgets. But the lauded battle of ideas lasted barely three days before the rival camps plummeted into faux outrage mode, waging spats unrelated to the economy, the central campaign issue.

Romney's brain trust decided their man should openly confront Obama after Vice President Joe Biden said in Virginia, which helped trigger a civil war over slavery, that the Republican candidate's banking reform would put people back in "chains." "Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago," Romney said. But Obama did not take the bait, sending out his spokesman out to implicitly question Romney's suitability for the pressures of the Oval Office. "Gov. Romney's comments tonight seemed unhinged," Ben LaBolt said.

Earlier, the campaign teams were back to their comment-twisting best, clashing over Biden's choice of metaphor and the fabled tale of Romney driving to Canada with a pet dog on the car roof.

"Because of the president's failed record he's been reduced to a desperate campaign based on division and demonization de·mon·ize  
tr.v. de·mon·ized, de·mon·iz·ing, de·mon·iz·es
1. To turn into or as if into a demon.

2. To possess by or as if by a demon.

3.
," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, reacting to Biden's comments.

Saul also bemoaned past transgressions, citing an attack ad by a pro-Obama group in which a worker for a steel firm run by Romney's Bain Capital said his wife died from cancer after he lost his job and health insurance. She also noted that an Obama adviser once questioned whether Romney lied to the American people or committed a felony over his tax returns. The scene shifted quickly to Chicago, as the Obama campaign launched a rebuttal rebuttal n. evidence introduced to counter, disprove or contradict the opposition's evidence or a presumption, or responsive legal argument. , denying there was a racial spin to Biden's remarks. Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Biden had been playing off Republican demands for the "unshackling" of the private sector from regulations designed to prevent a repeat of the economic crash.

"We find the Romney campaign's outrage over the vice president's comments today hypocritical," Cutter said, complaining that Romney had previously questioned Obama's patriotism. "Now, let's return to that 'substantive' debate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promised 72 hours ago, but quickly abandoned," she said. But the sniping is unlikely to end soon, though both sides probably would like it to.

Any day that Obama's camp is waging inane political rows, it is not having to defend the slow economic recovery, and 8.3 percent US unemployment rate. Romney's team may have also welcomed Tuesday's brouhaha as a respite from increasing scrutiny of Ryan's record and the rationale for choosing him.

By dragging the president into the mire mire (mer) [Fr.] one of the figures on the arm of an ophthalmometer whose images are reflected on the cornea; measurement of their variations determines the amount of corneal astigmatism.

mire
n.
, they may hope to strike a contrast between the prophet of post partisanship that Obama claimed to be in 2008 and the more conventional politician he has become. A slanging match may also help dent Obama's personal likeability ratings, which are boosting his bid for a second term on Nov. 6. In an especially sarcastic swipe, Obama said Romney's position on wind power -- which has growing muscle in Iowa where he is on a bus tour -- could be summed up thus.

"Governor Romney even explained his energy policy this way... 'You can't drive a car with a windmill on it.'" Obama said.

"I don't know if he has actually tried that -- I know he has had other things on his car," Obama said. Obama's joke revived the story of the time the former Massachusetts governor put his pet dog Seamus in a carrier, strapped it to his car roof and drove to Canada on a family trip. Democrats have used the story to suggest there is something strange and out of the mainstream about the multimillionaire former venture capitalist Venture Capitalist

An investor who provides capital to either start-up ventures or support small companies who wish to expand but do not have access to public funding.

Notes:
Venture capitalists usually expect higher returns for the additional risks taken.
.

-- Agence France Presse

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 16, 2012
Words:685
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