BOSTON, July 16 (UPI) -- Mitt Romney charged U.S. President Obama is running a campaign "based on falsehood and dishonesty" as Romney passed on suggestions he release more tax returns.
"A campaign based on falsehood and dishonesty does not have long legs," Romney told "Fox and Friends."
Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, called Obama's attack "dishonest" and "misdirected."
"And I think the American people recognize that kind of politics as something of the past," Romney said. "It may work in Chicago, but it's not going to work across America."
Romney also waved off calls by some in the Republican Party to make public more of his tax returns, arguing it would give the Obama campaign more fodder, then tried to flip the transparency onus back on the president, Politico reported.
"If we want to talk about transparency, the real issue is, why has this president used his presidential power and executive privilege to keep the information about the Fast and Furious program from being explained to the American people?" Romney said, referring to Obama's use of executive privilege over documents related to the failed "gun-walking" operation.
The Romney camp also hit Obama on what what it called cronyism, trying to change up the discussion about when Romney's tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital ended. The Republican presidential hopeful has been under fire from Democrats as questions were raised about when exactly he left Bain Capital, where he built his fortune. A Boston Globe report last week cited Security and Exchange Commission documents showing Romney remained Bain's chief executive officer, president and sole owner through 2002, not 1999 as he has said.
"President Obama has said the economy is 'doing fine,'" senior Romney strategist Ed Gillespie said on a conference call Monday with reporters. "Well that may be true if you are one of his contributors, but if you are a middle-class worker you are not doing fine."
Gillespie said decisions in the Obama administration are "often made based on political calculations, as opposed to what's best for the economy and we are seeing the results of that," the Los Angeles Times reported.
There is "a very close, tight-knit correlation between political activity and government benefit," Gillespie said.
Obama, in an interview taped last week but aired on CBS Monday, defended his campaign's ads, which he said demonstrate the "sharp contrast, probably as sharp a contrast as we've seen philosophically" between himself and Romney.
Obama said his campaign put out "a whole slew" of positive ads about improving education, rebuilding America and promoting U.S. energy.
"[Those] just don't get attention in the news, but we're very much promoting," he said.
Obama said he and Romney have different ideas about how to address the economy.
"[He] has a particular theory of how to grow the economy that has to do with providing tax cuts for folks at the very top, eliminating all regulations, and somehow that is going generate solutions to the challenges we face. I've got a very different approach and I think it is entirely appropriate for the American people to understand those two theories," Obama said. "And the more detailed we get into what he's saying and what I'm saying, I think that serves this democratic process well."
Asked about whether Obama was vulnerable to Romney's campaign targeting "crony capitalism," White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "This president will not concede the industries of the 21st Century to China, India, Europe and elsewhere."
Carney told reporters in a briefing while traveling to Cincinnati the 2009 stimulus plan created "tens of thousands of jobs" and provided "the foundation for competition in vital industries for the 21st Century."
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the president "set a bar of transparency that Mitt Romney has not met, cannot possibly meet, even on his tippy-toes."
"We have released bundlers, we release people regularly who visit the White House," Psaki said. "We release far more than Mitt Romney has come close to."
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