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By Michael A. Memoli
Mitt Romney opted not to seek a second term as governor of Massachusetts in 2006, choosing instead to position himself for a campaign for the presidency years later.
A new television ad from President Obama‘s campaign, however, has the feel of one a Democratic foe could have run against Romney if he had run for reelection six years ago, accusing him of “one of the worst economic records in the country” during his tenure leading the Bay State (Watch Below).
The 60-second spot is the latest attempt by the Obama campaign to undermine the key argument the Republican nominee now makes to voters — that his business experience is just what the country needs at a time of economic unease.
It begins with a clip of Romney telling Massachusetts voters in his 2002 gubernatorial campaign that he “speak[s] the language of business. I know how jobs are created.” But after he left office, the state had lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs and fell to 47th out of 50 states in job creation, a narrator says.
Romney also “outsourced call center jobs to India,” cut taxes for “millionaires like himself” while raising them on the middle class, and left the state deeper in debt, the ad states.
“So now, when Mitt Romney talks about what he’d do as president … remember we’ve heard it all before,” the ad ends, repeating the 2002 clip after a fresher soundbite from Romney, that he “know[s] what it takes to create jobs.”
“It didn’t work then and it won’t work now,” a narrator says.
The television ad, which the campaign says will see substantial airtime in nine battleground states, is part of the new effort to highlight Romney’s only experience in elected office, his tenure as governor from 2003 to 2007.
It’s a strategy that has taken on new urgency as economic data points to a weakening national recovery, a potential major drag on Obama’s chances for a second term.
Last week, senior Obama campaign aides and local officials who served during Romney’s term stood outside the statehouse in Boston in an effort to generate so-called “free media” coverage for their new attack.
Some of those same Massachusetts officials will travel to battleground states this week, starting in Ohio and Iowa today.
The president himself meanwhile will attend a series of fundraisers in New York with former President Bill Clinton.
Los Angeles Times