With his professed distaste for personal attacks, one might suspect Obama would have magnanimously refrained from indulging in such attacks himself, or at least softened any of his own. But his reelection campaign unleashed brutal attacks on Republican Mitt Romney amounting to character assassination.

And though he had positioned himself as a champion of national unity, Obama has been a divisive force on racial, economic, and political concerns. He spoke out in racially loaded controversies involving the brief arrest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and later the killing of Trayvon Martin, saying he saw the Florida teenager as the son he didn’t have.

On the economy, the president continues to go after American companies for not paying U.S. taxes on their overseas profits without mentioning that they pay taxes to foreign governments. If they did pay U.S. taxes as well, foreign competitors would have the advantage since they don’t pay taxes on foreign earnings to their home governments. In politics, Obama often characterizes Republicans as proponents of no government at all or says they have no proposals or ideas to deal with national problems. None of this is true. When he unveiled a plan for free community colleges, he didn’t seek advice from Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who had run his state’s community college system.

As a candidate in 2008, Obama said questioning “who is—or is not—a patriot all too often poisons our political debates in ways that divide us rather than bring us together.” Last year, however, he said he prefers “a patriotic” Republican party to the one that opposes him. He also accused Republicans of favoring “party over country” and declared himself an advocate of “economic patriotism,” implying that those who differ with him are unpatriotic.