Mudslinging time: Obama calls out Romney

Advertising war begins in Colorado

Editor’s note: This is the Herald’s weekly roundup of campaign news.

DENVER – It’s beginning to look a lot like the general election after a long Republican primary campaign.

President Barack Obama launched the second television ad of his campaign – and his first in Colorado – last week, going after Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney by name.

Obama’s ad also fights back against a pro-oil company group that has been running ads against him.

The ad opens with a photo of Obama in front of an oil pumpjack. “Under President Obama, domestic oil production’s at an eight-year high,” the narrator says.

The ad claims the American Energy Alliance is running ads against Obama because he supports ending tax breaks for oil companies, raising mileage standards for cars and boosting renewable energy.

“In all these fights, Mitt Romney stood with Big Oil for their tax breaks,” the narrator says.

Romney press secretary Andrea Saul said Obama is responsible for high gas prices and other economic woes.

“Leadership is about responsibility – not making excuses,” Saul said in a prepared statement. “Get used to these types of ads from the Obama political machine. This is how they will run their campaign. And this is why they’ll lose.”

The Obama campaign spent $1.4 million on the six-state ad campaign, according to The New York Times.

On Tuesday, Romney swept the primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The victories put him more than halfway toward his goal of 1,144 delegates, according to counts by media organizations. It will now be next to impossible for the other GOP challengers – Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul – to catch Romney before the Republican National Convention in August.

Coming up: Republicans will gather in Denver next weekend to choose delegates for the national convention.

At the 3rd Congressional District assembly Friday afternoon, three Republicans from the district will be elected as national delegates. The next day, 12 more will be elected at the statewide assembly.

Santorum won the Colorado preference poll at neighborhood caucus meetings Feb. 7, helping him briefly pass Romney in national polls. But the true contest happens at next week’s assemblies, when candidates compete for 33 delegates.

Countdown: 80 days until the primary election. 213 days until the November election.

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