The Corner

Obama Camp Memo Blasts Romney’s Massachusetts Record

Obama strategist David Axelrod just released a new memo pushing the notion that while Mitt Romney may have business experience, his Massachusetts record doesn’t suggest he’d be able to be successful in turning around the national economy. Here’s a longish excerpt from the memo, which shows how the Obama campaign plans to try to frame Romney over the course of the campaign: 

Now Romney’s back, making the same pitch to America that he did to the people of Massachusetts.“I’ve had a real job,” he says. “I think it helps to have a real job, to be able to create real jobs.”

But when it comes to Mitt Romney and his economic philosophy the facts are clear—it didn’t work then,and it won’t work now.

The history: The national economy began to grow in November 2001 and creating jobs in July 2003. But the recovery was slower in Massachusetts. Under Governor Romney, the Massachusetts economy was not at the top or even in the middle, but close to the bottom of all the states. The state lost jobs through the end of 2003,lagging the rest of the country by six months. Under Mitt Romney, Massachusetts plummeted from 36th to 47th out of 50 in job creation and manufacturing jobs declined at twice the national average, and for thefirst time in more than a decade, Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was above the national average. Job growth failed to keep up with population growth in Massachusetts, even as the reverse was true in the restof the country. The median income fell behind the rest of the country, falling down while incomes in the rest of the country grew. Economic growth in Massachusetts trailed the rest of the country every year Romney was in office. That could be why 222,000 more residents left Massachusetts than moved there between July 2002 and July 2006, a loss of 3.5 percent of the state’s population and the third-highest rate of departures in the country.

The rest below the jump, along with the Romney campaign’s response.#more#

Long-term debt increased by more than 16 percent in just four years and Massachusetts was first in the nation in debt per capita, and state spending increased by more than six percent per year – all while Romney proposed even larger increases. And after Romney raised $750 million per year in taxes and feeson middle class families and small businesses, he handed a tax break of more than $75 million to just 278 of the wealthiest – then touted the tax cut as he launched his first bid for president.Romney himself has said that “you have an opportunity to get to know me best by looking at my recordas governor.”

So what do we see when we take a look under the hood? Mitt Romney applied the economic philosophy he learned in the private sector to disastrous results as Governor of Massachusetts.Now he’s making the same promises he made when he was running for governor. We’ve seen this all before – it’s the same formula that benefitted a few, but crashed our economy in the first place and undermined security for the middle class. Massachusetts couldn’t afford Romney Economics, and neither can the American economy.

Asked for response, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul e-mails, “This is another desperate attack from President Obama because he has no positive record to run on. Mitt Romney created more jobs in the state of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the entire nation. 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. If President Obama had even half the job creation record of Mitt Romney, then he would be running on it.” 

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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