Obama camp opens new line of attack against Romney

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit, Wednesday, May 23, 2012, in Washington.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Mitt Romney addresses the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

(CBS News) After weeks of tying to cast Mitt Romney's experience at Bain Capital in a negative light, the Obama campaign opened a new line of attack against the presumptive Republican nominee on Wednesday. The campaign is now seeking to tie his private-sector experience to his record as Massachusetts governor.

In a two-page memo titled "Romney Economics: It Didn't Work Then And It Won't Work Now," Obama for America senior strategist David Axelrod says Romney gave the people of Massachusetts "a false representation."

"Ten years ago, Mitt Romney told the people of Massachusetts that his experience in business uniquely qualified him to strengthen the state's economy," adding that Romney said he was "a 'job creator,' whose experience as a corporate buyout specialist had given him special insight into how to grow the economy," the memo says.

Attempting to show that his economic policies did not work for Massachusetts, the memo released to reporters includes videos of Romney's promises during his 2002 campaign.

"I'm the only candidate in this race who has a lifetime of experience in the private economy. I speak the language of business. I know how jobs are created and how jobs are lost. I'm gonna do everything in my power to get our economy back working again for the people of Massachusetts," the memo highlights Romney saying during a Massachusetts debate in 2002.

The Obama campaign rebutted Romney's campaign statements with unfavorable statistics, including that Massachusetts was 47th in job creation during his time as governor and 35th in income growth.

The campaign is also attempting to make connections between Romney's statements during the 2002 campaign for governor and his current bid for presidency, where he recently told a Toledo, Ohio reporter that "a private sector background is better for getting people back to work."

The Romney campaign responded in defense of the governor's record in Massachusetts and by calling the Obama campaign "desperate."

"After taking office at a time when the state was losing thousands of jobs every month, Governor Romney's focus on fiscal responsibility helped create an environment where job growth returned to Massachusetts. Job growth increased throughout his term and the state added over 40,000 payroll jobs during his final year in office," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said in a statement.

The latest attack on Romney comes as a new poll by The Washington Post/ABC News shows that Mitt Romney's favorability ratings have reached its highest point of the campaign at 41 percent. Although Mr. Obama's favorability rating is still higher at 52, the new poll shows that the gap on the measure between the two candidates is narrowing.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.