President Obama hits Mitt Romney on debt in new ad

President Obama’s new television ad continues his campaign’s assault on Mitt Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts, focusing specifically on the debt the Republican ran up during his time running the commonwealth.

“When Mitt Romney was governor, Massachusetts was number one. Number one in state debt: $18 billion dollars in debt, more debt per person than any other state in the country,” the narrator says. “First in debt, 47th in job creation. That’s Romney Economics.”

“Number One” is a continuation of a weeks-long offensive on Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor, a position the presumptive Republican presidential nominee held from 2003 to 2007.

Like the campaign’s last ad, this one uses the phrase “Romney Economics,” which Obama’s campaign clearly hopes will stick as a pejorative term.

Worth noting: the national debt has grown at a much higher rate under Obama than debt in Massachusetts did under Romney. And Massachusetts already ranked first in the nation for highest per-capita debt when Romney took office.

“President Obama has overseen trillion-dollar deficits, soaring national debt and the first credit downgrade in history,” responded Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “Mitt Romney, on the other hand, closed a $3 billion budget shortfall, balanced four budgets, left a $2 billion rainy day fund and received a credit rating upgrade.”

The ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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