Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama decried what he described as “the politics of insult.”

“You don’t deserve a bunch of name-calling,” he told a Virginia crowd in the summer of 2008. “You don’t deserve a bunch of mudslinging.”

But lately, there have been more than a few insults flying on the 2012 campaign trail. Whether it’s with cute turns of phrase like “Romnesia” or more serious invective, the president’s campaign has gotten increasingly aggressive over the last few weeks in its denunciation of Mitt Romney.

The tone likely reflects the polls, which have been tightening ever since the Republican nominee’s opening debate performance. Whatever the reason, it’s evident that the “politics of insult” have not faded.

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