In the interviews with current and former Obama aides, not one said he expressed any reservations about the negativity.
He views it as a necessary part of campaigning, as a natural — if unpleasant — rotation of the cyclical political wheel.
One juicy little anecdote?
Obama told a Rubio friend that he "might get his ass kicked" if he ran for vice-president.
Obama’s trash-talking competitiveness, a trait that has defined him since his days on the court as a basketball-obsessed teenager in Hawaii, was on display one night last February, when the president spotted a woman he knew was close to Sen. Marco Rubio in a Florida hotel lobby. “Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?” the president asked her. Maybe, she replied.
“Well,” he said, chuckling, according to a person who witnessed the encounter. “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”