Wonkblog: GOP Candidates

Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts record: proof of ‘strong leadership’?

“Mitt Romney on Day One: the difference is strong leadership.”

-- Narration from Romney campaign video

Mitt Romney’s campaign released this ad Friday in defense of the GOP candidate’s governing background. Up to this point, the campaign’s focus seemed to be on attacking President Obama’s economic record and promising a stronger recovery should Romney win the election in November.

That all changed last week when Obama’s campaign posted a video describing the Romney governorship as a series of broken promises on jobs, taxes and debt. The Republican challenger shot back with this “Strong Leadership” video that tells a very different story about his record.

How can the two sides have such disparate takes on the same picture? Let’s take a look at Romney’s claims to see if they’re any more accurate than the rhetoric that earned two Pinocchios for the Obama team.

“As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had the best jobs record in a decade.”

The Romney campaign based this claim on a comparison of every Massachusetts governor who held office during the past decade -- looking at the full term for each person, even if it extends past the decade mark. The list includes Jane Swift, Romney and Deval Patrick, in chronological order.

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