The Obama reelection campaign is taking a swing at Mitt Romney in a new way by focusing on his mediocre record as governor of the state of Massachusetts, ABC News reports:
The new effort focuses on Romney’s record as governor “and the campaign promises Democrats say he left unfulfilled. Team Obama will point to Romney’s rhetoric on job creation, size of government, education, deficits and taxes during the 2002 gubernatorial campaign and draw parallels with his presidential stump speeches of 2012. The goal is to illustrate that Romney has made the same promises before with unimpressive results.”
He also opposes tax increases of any kind in his bid for the White House, writing in a USA Today op-ed earlier this year, “As president, I will firmly oppose tax increases.”
But as Factcheck.org notes, the “Massachusetts Department of Administration and Finance says that fee increases during Romney’s tenure added up to $260 million per year, with another $174 million raised from closing some corporate tax ‘loopholes.’ The independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation puts the revenue total of fee hikes and tax loophole-closings at between $740 and $750 million a year.”
Romney’s claim that he stood by a no-new-taxes pledge as governor was judged by the libertarian Cato institute to be “mostly a myth.”
Similarly, Romney pledged as a candidate ten years ago to reduce the size of government; on the campaign trail he says he achieved that. ”We didn’t just slow the rate of our government, we actually cut it,” he told CBN earlier this month. It’s true that Romney cut 603 jobs from of agencies under his direct control, as the Boston Globe noted in 2007 — but overall the size of government grew.
Um, be that as it may, mediocre governor and all, that could backfire on Obama, since many will say he has been horrible on the economy, though he inherited some of the mess. He owns it now and doesn’t have much to show for it. I would venture to say, if the unemployment level is still hovering above nine percent come September, then Obama should be very worried about losing the election.
Greg Sargent: “Obama needs to persuade voters to do more than simply accept Romney as an alternative to the economic status quo who’s worth taking a flyer on. He needs to get them to look past general impressions of Romney’s competence and to realize that Romney is offering an actual set of policies and ideas about the economy that have been tried before. His ‘Mr. Fix It’ aura — which is rooted in the pitch that he can translate private sector know-how to the public sector — is belied by his actual record as a public official.”
I am all for hitting Mitt Romney on the issues and the “record” which he claims is second to none, but it can also backfire, thanks to the lackluster economy. Believe me, I am not thrilled with either Obama or Romney and it’s hard for me to say at this juncture that I am squarely behind either of the two men. We are faced with two mediocre choices.