President Barack Obama charged Republican rival Mitt Romney with holding the "extreme positions" of the House GOP that he would push through if elected, regardless of whether he believes them or not.
In an interview with the Associated Press published Saturday, Obama cited economic and social issues, and also suggested Romney wasn't ready to "own up" to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president by refusing to release additional tax returns.
"[Romney] has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken," Obama told the AP. "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."
Among those positions, he said, are Romney's call for tax cuts across the board -- a plan Obama said would help the rich at the expense of everyone else, something he's repeated often on the campaign trail.
Obama also hinted at the issue of abortion, something that was pushed to the forefront this week following Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's comment that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant. According to the AP, Obama predicted Romney would not "stand in the way" of a congressional bill to take away women's control over their reproductive health care.
The Obama campaign has previously sought to tie Romney to the "war on women" theme, including with an ad that declared that "it's a scary time to be a woman." Romney has stated unequivocally he supports a woman's right to have an abortion in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother's life.
Obama also noted Romney's refusal to release additional years of tax returns, calling it a "lack of willingness to take responsibility for what this job entails."
With the economy the No. 1 issue of the 2012 election, Obama acknowledged, "We aren't where we need to be."
"Everybody agrees with that," he told the AP. "But Governor Romney's policies would make things worse for middle-class families and offer no prospect for long-term opportunity for those striving to get into the middle class."