Washington: President Barack Obama says Republican rival Mitt Romney has locked himself into "extreme positions" on economic and social issues and would surely impose them if elected, trying to discredit his challenger at the biggest political moment of his life.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Obama said Romney lacks serious ideas, refuses to "own up" to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president and deals in factually dishonest arguments that could soon haunt him in face-to-face debates before the November election.
The president appeared intent on countering Romney ahead of the Republican national convention, which starts early next week. The 25-minute interview was part of a campaign by Obama's team to take some of the spotlight before Romney introduces himself to a TV audience of millions on Thursday as he accepts his party's presidential nomination.
Obama said Romney lacks serious ideas, refuses to \"own up\" to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president.
Obama depicted his opponent as having accumulated ideas far outside the mainstream, with no room to turn back.
"I can't speak to Governor Romney's motivations," Obama said. "What I can say is that he has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken. And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he's talked about."
Obama also offered a glimpse of how he would govern in a second term of divided government. He said he would be willing to make a range of compromises with Republicans, confident there are some who would rather make deals than remain part of "one of the least productive Congresses in American history."
Obama spoke to the AP before a long weekend with his family at Camp David, the secluded presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains.