Positive Romney Spot Highlights Massachusetts Record

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts, which has come under renewed scrutiny from his Democratic rivals in the past two weeks, is the subject of a positive television ad released by the Republican candidate's campaign Friday.

The 30-second spot, called "Strong Leadership," offers a glowing assessment of Romney's time as Bay State governor, seeking to negate recent ads from President Barack Obama and his allies that portray his record as bad on jobs. According to data provided to clients of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, the ad is running in battleground states New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado and Virginia.

"Mitt Romney on day one. The difference is strong leadership," the ad states. "As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had the best jobs record in a decade. Romney reduced unemployment to just 4.7%. He balanced every budget without raising taxes."

Romney's claim on unemployment, while technically accurate, has come under some criticism from fact checkers, who point out the rate in Massachusetts fell along with the national joblessness rate.

FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan group, wrote, "It's true that Massachusetts' unemployment rate was below the national average in Romney's first three years as governor in 2003, 2004 and 2005, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for yearly averages. But in 2006, the last year he held office, the Massachusetts unemployment rate was 5 percent – higher than the national rate of 4.6 percent."

On the taxes claim, Obama's campaign points out Romney raised fees in Massachusetts, which the Democrats say amounts to a tax increase. A CNNMoney analysis of his record determined he cut select taxes while in office, and proposed some new tax cuts that didn't pass the legislature – like a 0.3 percentage point reduction in the 5.3% state income tax rate.

But he also had an obligation to balance the state's budget every year, and when he came into office he was facing a big deficit that he plugged using a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases, including increased fees.

Obama's campaign, along with his allied super PAC, have taken aim at Romney's record in Massachusetts, most recently with a television ad hitting the candidate for his jobs record in the state. The 30-second spot called "Heard it Before" claims Romney had "one of the worst economic records in the country."

The Romney campaign did not provide any details on where the spot would run and how much money they are putting into the buy.


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