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May 3rd, 2012
06:16 PM ET

Letters to the President #1200: 'Getting Dirty'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama all the time, and I try to be nice about it.

Dear Mr. President,

I saw this new study from the Wesleyan Media Project about how dirty the presidential race is compared to how it was last time at this point. I’ll give you one guess as to which way the trend is going. Yep, it’s worse.

Not being snarky about it, but I guess you would know since you’re part of that process.

The Wesleyan folks mentioned that, yes, all those outside groups who are peppering the airwaves with ads for you, for Romney, against you, against him, are one reason the percentage of nasty ads is way up since the last presidential election. However, they also note that the campaigns themselves have also gone significantly deeper into the gutter with attacks.

I must say, it is a shame. I know that you want to win, and he does too. I understand that both of you and your parties are convinced that negative ads are how you reach that goal. But it just seems tragic at such a critical time, when our nation so badly needs to be built up, that two men who are vying to lead us are spending so much time and energy tearing each other down.

And every day that the two of you spend doing that is another day that you’re not…well, not leading and showing us a real path to better days.

I know that fixing the economy, taming the deficit, and figuring out what is happening in Europe and Asia is complicated. I know that it is fully possible that neither of you has the right solutions to our woes. But I’m pretty sure that ripping each other down and demonizing the other party will do nothing to help. And no matter how the race comes out, the winner is likely to face a Congress which is divided even more deeply by the bitterness of the race.

Just a little food for thought. Hope all is well. Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

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