By Jonathan Easley - 06/04/12 11:34 AM EDT
The Obama campaign continued its attacks on Mitt Romney’s record creating jobs as Massachusetts governor with a new ad released Monday.
The video, titled “Heard it Before,” is running in nine battleground states.
It opens with a clip of Romney running for governor in 2002. “I speak the language of business,” Romney said at the time. “I know how jobs are created.”
"When Mitt Romney was governor, Massachusetts lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs, a rate twice the national average, and fell to 47th in job creation, fourth from the bottom," says the narrator.
"Instead of hiring workers from his own state, Romney outsourced call-center jobs to India. He cut taxes for millionaires like himself, while raising taxes on the middle class, and left the state $2.6 billion deeper in debt.
“So now, when Mitt Romney talks about what he’d do as president,” the narrator concludes, “remember, we’ve heard it all before. Romney economics: It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.”
The Romney campaign shot back, calling President Obama’s economic record a “a litany of failures.” Romney’s team defended the former Massachusetts governor’s tenure, saying that unemployment in the state fell under his administration from 5.6 to 4.7 percent, and that Massachusetts managed to add “tens of thousands of jobs,” even as Romney consistently balanced the budget.
“Having abandoned ‘Hope and Change,' the Obama campaign only hopes to change the subject from an abysmal jobs report,” Romney campaign adviser Andrea Saul said in a statement.
“We're happy to compare the 4.7 percent unemployment rate Mitt Romney achieved in Massachusetts to President Obama’s weak record any day. President Obama's policies have failed to get Americans back to work — it’s time for a president who has worked in the real-world economy and understands how to get this economy moving again.”
An anemic May jobs report showing unemployment rising to 8.2 percent and the economy only adding 69,000 jobs has further fueled the debate between Romney and Obama over who can better handle the economic recovery, an issue voters rank as paramount.
Romney's campaign has touted his experience at private-equity firm Bain Capital and in Massachusetts, arguing that the presumptive GOP nominee has the skills to boost job growth. On Friday, Romney called the May jobs figures "devastating."
Obama's campaign, though, has hit back hard. On Sunday, senior campaign adviser David Axelrod questioned whether Romney was "qualified to call himself a job-creator."
"That’s not what he did in business. ... And that’s not certainly what he did in Massachusetts, where they had one of the worst economic records in the country,” he said on CBS's "Face the Nation."