Barack Obama may have made his name peddling hope and change, but his aspirational politics concealed a ruthless streak now being turned on the man who wants his job: Mitt Romney.

President Obama and his hard-eyed political consultants have unleashed a long-planned attack on the Republican’s corporate past, seeking to turn November’s election on Romney’s character rather than his own economic record.

The president, who did not hesitate to go negative on Democratic primary foe Hillary Clinton in 2008 and has proven a steely commander-in-chief, is now seeking to debunk Romney’s claim that his business wizardry could create jobs.

Obama insists his attack on multi-millionaire Romney’s time as head of asset management firm Bain Capital is not only fair game but germane to the economic anxieties of middle class America.

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