In a new Web video released Thursday, President Obama's campaign moves from attacking Mitt Romney over his record at Bain Capital to charging that he had a record of "broken promises" as governor of Massachusetts.
"There was that promise of hope that Romney would deliver with jobs, and grow the economy here in Massachusetts, and that did not materialize," says Karen Spilka, a Democratic state senator, in the video.
Romney's campaign fired back that Obama is simply trying to change the subject from his own failing record.
“The Obama campaign has gone from ‘Hope and Change’ to ‘Hope to Change the Subject,' " Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in response to the new video. "Only President Obama, who has failed to meet his own goal of 6 percent unemployment, would have the audacity to attack Mitt Romney's record of creating jobs. We're happy to compare the 4.7 percent unemployment rate Mitt Romney achieved in Massachusetts to President Obama’s weak record any day.”
Earlier this month, the Obama campaign created a website, RomneyEconomics.com, to list companies that failed after being bought by Romney's private-equity firm, Bain Capital, and released two videos highlighting workers who blame Romney for their lost jobs.
The president's reelection team is now pivoting to Romney's record in the public sector as governor from 2003 to 2007, with a four-minute Web video that highlights Romney's promises as a gubernatorial candidate, followed by interviews with former mayors and state legislators who say he "didn't deliver."
"There are times when I watch Mitt Romney say the exact same things now that he said in Massachusetts in 2002, in a robotic way that is completely hollow," says Carl Sciortino, another Democratic state representative. "It didn't work here, so I'm not quite sure why he thinks it would work nationally."
The Obama campaign in a press release hammered on the idea that Romney fails when judged on a combination of his business and political record.
"Mitt Romney has consistently claimed that his business experience taught him lessons that will result in economic growth for the country," the Obama campaign said in a press release. "He pointed to the same business experience and made the same promises when he ran for governor of Massachusetts: that job creation would pick up, the debt would go down, taxes and spending would be reduced and the size of government would shrink. But Romney Economics actually resulted in slower job creation, more debt, bigger government and cuts to programs essential to the middle class. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now."
The attack on Romney's record as governor turns familiar attacks often used on Obama around on his GOP challenger. Romney and the Republican National Committee frequently hit Obama on "broken promises," comparing his statements as a candidate to his tenure in office, and the RNC has said that Obama's 2008 "hope and change" slogan has turned into "hype and blame."
Romney was also attacked on his Massachusetts record during the GOP primary, notably by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who charged that Massachusetts was ranked 47th in the nation for job growth during the time when Romney was governor. The nonpartisan organization Politifact rated this claim "half-true" because the state's ranking is a fact but it is difficult to blame Romney exclusively for the number. Overall, unemployment declined in Massachusetts, though his critics say the movement was sluggish compared to the rest of the country.