Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006. Photo: Corbis.
President Barack Obama‘s re-election campaign has moved up a gear this week. After recently attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney‘s 1990s stint at the head of Bain Capital, a private-equity firm, the president’s senior adviser is now focusing on the Republican presidential candidate’s record as governor of the Bay State between 2003 and 2007.
In a five-page memo released on Wednesday, David Axelrod emphasized that Mr. Romney‘s claim that his tenure at Bain Capital put him in an excellent position to understand the needs of the economy and the direction the country should take is a recycled argument the now presumptive Republican nominee used when he was campaigning to become Massachusetts governor ten years ago.
Furthermore, Mr. Obama‘s senior adviser claims that Mr. Romney‘s four-year stint as gubernatorial leader of the Bay State was a complete failure in matters ranging from unemployment and job creation to debt and tax policies, to name a few. In other words, David Axelrod wrote, Mr. Romney left the Bay State in a much worse position than when he took over from acting governor Jane Swift in January 2003.
“Romney campaigned for governor on the promises of more jobs, decreased debt and smaller government. When he left office, however, state debt had increased, the size of government had grown, and over his four years, Massachusetts’s record of job creation was among the worst in the nation,” Mr. Axelrod wrote.
Mr. Obama‘s adviser also urged those planning to back Mr. Romney in November to reconsider who they should be voting for.
“When it comes to Mitt Romney and his economic philosophy, the facts are clear. [His policies] didn’t work then, and [they] won’t work now,” he stated.
Mr. Romney’s spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, in turn, issued a statement dismissing the attacks from the Obama team.
“Mitt Romney created more jobs in the state of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the entire nation,” she wrote. “President Obama has failed to meet his own goal of 6 percent unemployment and has a net negative record on job creation. We’re happy to compare the 4.7 percent unemployment rate Mitt Romney was able to accomplish,” she also stated.
Ms. Saul also emphasized that, had Mr. Obama‘s economic policies been successful over the past three and a half years, he would be able to campaign on his own record, instead of trying to paint Mr. Romney’s achievements in a negative light. The national official unemployment rate currently stands at 8.1 percent.
“If President Obama had even half the job creation record of Mitt Romney, then he would be running on it,” Ms. Saul added.
On Thursday, on the steps of the Massachusetts State House, Mr. Axelrod continued his attack on the former governor.
“Massachusetts stumbled under governor Romney. He brought the orientation of a financial engineer whose career has not been about generating jobs. It’s been about generating short-term profit,” he said.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts House Rep. Dan Winslow echoed Ms. Saul’s statement when he spoke to reporters.
“The reason Axelrod is here, the reason they’re attacking Gov. Romney’s record, is they have nothing positive to say about their record of the last four years,” he explained.