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Ad ramps up Obama assault on Romney’s Mass. record

Barack Obama spoke to the press June 8 in Washington, D.C.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

Barack Obama spoke to the press June 8 in Washington, D.C.

President Obama’s reelection campaign continued to assail Mitt Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor Tuesday, launching a new TV ad in nine swing states.

The ad begins with mock praise for the presumptive Republican nominee; a male narrator says, “When Mitt Romney was governor, Massachusetts was number one,” before delivering the punch line -- “number one in state debt.”

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A graphic shows Massachusetts with a per-capita debt of $4,153 in 2007, the end of Romney’s term. The claim is based on Moody’s annual State Debt Medians Report.

“At the same time,” the narrator continues, “Massachusetts fell to 47th in job creation, one of the worst economic records in the country.”

The evaluation of Massachusetts’s economy as “one of the worst in the country” under Romney comes from an op-ed published by the Globe in 2007 that was written by Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

“First in debt; 47th in job creation,” the narrator summarizes. “That’s Romney economics. It didn’t work then. It won’t work now.”

The job creation ranking is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and represents Massachusetts’s cumulative performance over Romney’s entire four-year term.

A Globe review of BLS data last week confirmed the Obama campaign’s claim but also showed that Massachusetts ranked 32nd in the country in job growth in 2006, Romney’s last full year in office. From 50th in 2003, Romney’s first year, the state climbed 18 spots.

The Romney campaign has characterized the improvement from year one to year four of Romney’s gubernatorial tenure a turnaround. It fired back at the new Obama ad by calling it a distortion.

“President Obama has overseen trillion-dollar deficits, soaring national debt and the first credit downgrade in history,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement. “Mitt Romney, on the other hand, closed a $3 billion budget shortfall, balanced four budgets, left a $2 billion rainy day fund and received a credit rating upgrade. President Obama will do anything to distract from his abysmal economic record and -- despite that record -- the fact that he thinks the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Mitt Romney knows our country can do better and, under his leadership, it will do better.”

The new ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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