Time for a flashback: in 2008 Obama promised not to run negative attack ads.

Few in the mainstream media noticed he pounded on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a few times with negative campaigning. But it's really come to the forefront as a slew of ads bashing Mitt Romney have taken to the airwaves.

Most notably, one showing Romney singing while the words on the screen take shots at Romney's personal and business dealings.

Obama has shifted course and now is pointing out the nastiness of the 1800 Thomas Jefferson vs. John Adams presidential race to justify his negativity.

He dodges the question at numerous campaign stops, instead "reminding" people how nasty Jefferson and Adams got with each other. Jefferson's people referred to Adams as having "hermaphroditical character"  while Adams referred to Jefferson as "the son of a half-breed Indian squaw."

Critics are pointing out that with the widespread coverage of Obama's belated 2008 pledge and his campaign's current conduct could cost him votes. This video shows Obama's now-infamous pledge.