Wait, this is just as bad as his business approach…
The media, helped along by the Obama campaign, has spent considerable time recently looking at Mitt Romney’s past as a businessman and top dog at Bain Capital. With the release of a devastating new video this morning titled “Broken Promises: Romney’s Massachusetts Record”, it appears they are turning their attention to his past as the governor of Massachusetts.
It’s not pretty.
Some excerpts that particularly appealed to me:
“What we heard from Mitt Romney during the campaign was the “no new taxes” pledge and he found very quickly once he was in office that he couldn’t deliver on any services without having sufficient resources. So, he raised our taxes by raising our fees.”
“But a rose by any other name is absolutely still a rose. Fees are increases out of the pockets of every Massachusetts resident. That’s a tax. Let’s call it what it is.”
“Struggling working families, they were paying more under his administration. They were paying at the Department of Motor Vehicles. They’re paying for marriage fees and burial fees…”
“Every fee that he put place or increased impacted mainly the average middle-income person.”
“The only place that I remember Mitt actually cutting taxes was for the 278 wealthiest families in our state.”
“There are times when I watch Mitt Romney saying the exact same things now that he said in Massachusetts in 2002 in a robotic way that is completely hollow. It didn’t work here so I’m not quite sure why he thinks it might work nationally.”
The Obama campaign issued the following statement:
Obama for America today released a new video and content on the RomneyEconomics.com website that examine Mitt Romney’s economic record as governor of Massachusetts and what his economic philosophy would mean for America. Mitt Romney has consistently claimed that his business experience taught him lessons that will result in economic growth for the country. 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 national economy emerged from recession in November 2001 and was creating jobs by July 2003, while Massachusetts lagged six months behind under Mitt Romney’s watch. The state’s economic growth stayed that way, trailing the rest of the country every year of Romney’s term. Massachusetts plummeted to 47th out of 50 in job creation and manufacturing jobs fell at twice the national average, the third-worst record in the country.
Mitt Romney has drawn the wrong lessons from his experiences, both in business and in Massachusetts, and is using his misguided economic philosophy to shape the policies he’s promoting in his run for the White House. He’s making the same promises he made when he ran for governor, and America can’t afford the same results we saw in Massachusetts.
In addition to the video, Obama for America Senior Strategist David Axelrod put out a memo titled “Romney Economics: It Didn’t Work Then And It Won’t Work Now.” It is a well-researched piece that highlights Mitt Romney’s failure in Massachusetts. You can read the memo HERE (pdf).
Greg Sargent at the Plum Line points out the hypocrisy of Romney’s recent defense of his time as governor:
You really couldn’t make this one up if you tried.
The Romney campaign is out with a new press release blasting Obama for presiding over a “net” loss in jobs. As I’ve been saying far too often, this metric is bogus, because it factors in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs the economy was hemorrhaging when Obama took office, before his policies took effect.
But this time, there’s an intriguing new twist in the Romney campaign’s argument.
In the same release attacking Obama over “net” job loss, the Romney camp also defends Romney’s jobs record as Governor of Massachusetts by pointing out … that Romney inherited a state economy that was losing jobs when he took office.
As you can see, the Romney campaign is defending itself against the latest Dem attack line — that Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50th in job creation — by pointing out that Romney should be judged by the job growth that happened after jobs losses were reversed, and even by the number of jobs that were added towards the end of his term.
This is precisely the argument that the Romney campaign is implicitly dismissing as bogus when Obama makes it. Indeed, in the very same release, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul blasts Obama for his “net negative record on job creation,” which is only a “net negative” if you factor in the jobs losses at the start of Obama’s term. But in its own defense, the Romney campaign is arguing for a focus on the jobs added after the job losses that took place when Romney assumed office. [...]
The claim that “net” jobs were lost on Obama’s watch is absolutely central to Romney’s whole argument, and the Romney team has repeated it for months and months in every conceivable forum. But the new standard the Romney campaign wants applied to him — i.e., that the focus should be on jobs added after jobs losses were reversed — would seem to completely undercut this entire case.
The anti-Obama forces are going to be throwing a LOT of chaff into the sky in the next few months. Fueled by an historic amount of corporate money, they will lie and distort the truth to convince America not that their candidate is good, but that president Obama is bad. This week we learned that Republican groups are going to spend nearly $2 BILLION against President Obama. To put that into perspective, President Obama spent $750 million to get elected in 2008.
Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.
That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections – twice what they had been expected to commit.
Just the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago. And the $1 billion total surpasses the $750 million that Barack Obama, one of the most prolific fundraisers ever, collected for his 2008 campaign.
When you have to spend that kind of money against your opponent, it’s pretty clear that your candidate is deficient. When you look at Mitt Romney’s record, whether it’s his business background of making a profit at the expense of working Americans or as a governor where his failed economic policies made it more difficult to get by for working class residents of Massachusetts, it’s clear that Mitt Romney IS deficient.
All that remains to be seen is whether or not Americans are savvy enough to cut through the chaff and the money-fueled smokescreen to see the truth and reject Mitt Romney. For the sake of the middle class and those who struggle every day, we had all better hope they do.
[CC image credit: Gage Skidmore | Flickr]