CHARLOTTESVILLE -- President Obama used some of his toughest language yet against rival Mitt Romney today, accusing the Republican's campaign of bragging that "we will not let the truth get in the way."

Speaking to an outdoor crowd of 7,500 in downtown Charlottesville, Obama said Romney and his campaign have not told the truth in TV ads accusing the president of ending the work requirement in landmark welfare reform legislation that was passed in the 1990s.

"Somebody was challenging one of their ads," Obama said. "They just they made it up about work and welfare. And every outlet said this was just not true. They were asked about it, and a campaign person said, we won't have the fact checkers dictate our campaign plan. We will not let the truth get in the way."

Obama was making a reference to a comment by Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, who earlier this week said, “These fact checkers come to those ads with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs. We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." (He did not say Romney's campaign "will not let the truth get in the way" -- his argument was that fact checkers do not have the final say on what is and isn't true.) 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made a remark similar to Obama's during a press briefing Tuesday on board Air Force One.

Asked to comment, Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg did not directly address Obama's remarks.

"This is a president whose campaign has continued to level attacks against Governor Romney that have been widely discredited across the political spectrum," Henneberg said.