Mitt Romney ad defends record in Massachusetts
Responding to attacks from President Obama, Mitt Romney is out with a new ad defending his record as governor of Massachusetts.
“Strong Leadership” declares that Romney “had the best jobs record in a decade,” brought unemployment down to 4.7 percent, and balanced the budget without raising taxes.
There’s also a nod to independents and moderates, when the narrator says Romney “did it by bringing parties together to cut through gridlock.”
The ad sticks to the Romney campaign’s “Day One” theme, starting with the words “Mitt Romney on Day One: The difference is strong leadership.”
But while previous ads have focused on what the Republican candidate would do the day he takes office, this one is clearly meant to push back on Obama’s criticism. It’s his first ad all about Massachusetts.
The president’s campaign has been focused for more than a week on Massachusetts, pointing out that the state was 47th out of 50 in job creation during Romney’s term. Romney is arguing that he did better than his predecessor (Republican Jane Swift) and current Gov. Deval Patrick (D).
The two sets of statistics are not actually incompatible. Bureau of Labor Statistics data support both.
When Romney took office, Massachusetts was ranked last in the country, largely thanks to the dot-com bust and the 2001 recession. When he left, it was ranked 35th for the year. After Romney left office, the recession hit and job growth plunged again. So Romney out-performed Swift and Patrick.
But for his overall term, Massachusetts was ranked 47th. It was one of just four states that had not recovered all the jobs lost in the 2001 recession. Obama is arguing that while Massachusetts grew, it lagged behind most of the country in growth.
While it’s true that Romney did not raise taxes to balance the budget, he did raise a multitude of fees.