In an exclusive interview with Townhall, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney rebuked a conservative group that is reportedly planning to assail President Obama over his 20-year relationship with controversial Chicago pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they've described. I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity -- particularly for those in the middle class of America. And I think what we've seen so far from the Obama campaign is a campaign of character assassination. I hope that isn't the course of this campaign. So in regards to that PAC, I repudiate what they're thinking about ... It's interesting that we're talking about some Republican PAC that wants to go after the president [on Wright]; I hope people also are looking at what he's doing, and saying 'why is he running an attack campaign? Why isn't he talking about his record?'"
Romney added that his campaign will release its first general election television ad in the coming days, which he described as "positive" in nature. With his comments on the re-emergence of Rev. Wright as a factor in a presidential campaign, the former Massachusetts Governor has aligned his stance with that of Sen. John McCain, who refused to touch the issue in 2008. The full interview with Gov. Romney will first air on today's edition of the nationally-syndicated Hugh Hewitt radio program.