Obama Attacks Romney’s Record on Job Growth

BY Christina Bellantoni and Katelyn Polantz  June 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM EST

President Obama; photo by Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama tours Honeywell’s facility in Golden Valley, Minn., on Friday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images.

The Morning Line

President Obama’s re-election team is investing heavily in a new television spot directly attacking Mitt Romney’s core argument for the Nov. 6 contest: that he knows how to create jobs and as president he would revive the struggling economy.

The spot, which is running in nine battleground states, begins with a clip from Romney’s campaign to become governor of Massachusetts and him saying that he knows how to create jobs. It then highlights that the state dropped to 47th for job creation under his tenure.

“One of the worst economic records in the country,” a narrator says as headlines flash on the screen. The ad attacks Romney for losing twice the national average of manufacturing jobs and says he outsourced call center jobs to India.

It closes with a warning: “Romney economics: It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.”

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

Watch it here or below:

The Romney campaign said the spot suggests the president is done with “hope and change” and only “hopes to change the subject after Friday’s weak jobs report.”

Spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement: “We’re happy to compare the 4.7% unemployment rate Mitt Romney achieved in Massachusetts to President Obama’s weak record any day. President Obama’s policies have failed to get Americans back to work — it’s time for a president who has worked in the real world economy and understands how to get this economy moving again.”

The Boston Globe has a story Monday looking at the claims and finds that each camp presents the figures in different ways:

In its review, the Globe examined seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs, the most commonly accepted employment measure.

The statistics show that Massachusetts’ job growth ranking improved dramatically from Romney’s first year in office to his last, but its cumulative ranking during Romney’s four-year term was markedly lower than it was under his predecessor.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, an Obama surrogate and rising star in the Democratic Party, further pushed the president’s message in the keynote at the state’s Democratic Party convention in New Hampshire on Saturday, which the NewsHour attended.

His message focused on the president’s leadership through the recession. He asked the Democrats to remember that the economic conditions came from President George W. Bush and that elected Republicans’ social agendas don’t create jobs.

O’Malley notably stayed away from discussing one of Maryland’s highest profile policies, and a hot topic for the president: the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The NewsHour will have more on O’Malley later this week.

WAITING ON WISCONSIN

Workers’ Voice, the labor group targeting Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday’s recall election, is investing between $50,000 and $60,000 in get-out-the-vote online ads that direct voters to polling places. A source with the organization told the NewsHour that they are using technology to target people who signed the recall petitions last fall and Democrats who don’t reglularyly vote.

Politico reported Monday that the Republican Governors Association is spending $1.5 million on get-out-the-vote efforts, adding to the “about $8 million the committee has put behind television commercials.”

Public Policy Polling found Walker with a slight lead in its final survey ahead of the contest, and both parties are all-in to make this an early harbinger for the November elections.

Eliza Newlin Carney writes for Roll Call that despite confidence surrounding the election, labor organizers and Democrats “remain plagued by missteps, internal squabbles and money woes that could reverberate into November.”

We’ll post a roundup of the NewsHour’s coverage from Wisconsin on Monday. Make sure to tune into the show Monday night to watch Jeffrey Brown’s report.

BOB McDONNELL’S AUDITION

The NewsHour’s Cassie M. Chew produced a piece examining Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell’s recent jobs tour detailing his economic message as Romney considers his options for a running mate.

McDonnell is showcasing GOP ideals on the trail as he campaigns on his own record, for his lieutenant governor’s expected 2013 bid and for Romney in the key battleground state. As for those approval ratings that have dropped this year? McDonnell told us he isn’t worried.

Watch the piece here or below.

THE REVOLUTION GETS MESSY

Louisiana’s Republican State Convention this weekend became yet another example of Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s supporters going rogue at a preparatory event before the national convention in Tampa.

The Times-Picayune reported that Louisiana Republican primary winner and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum had hoped to stave off any disagreements by naming his bound delegates in advance.

But when the convention convened, Paul supporters attempted a takeover and one was arrested. A writer for Examiner.com, a community journalism site, described a convention that split in two in the same hotel ballroom, with the Republican Party electing a slate of delegates and the Paul supporters setting their own.

The events contribute to the ongoing fear that Paul supporters who attend the Tampa convention may create chaos for Romney.

This was the Paul campaign’s reaction to Saturday’s showdown in Shreveport:

The Ron Paul campaign condemns the unfortunate activities that took place at the Louisiana Republican State Convention in Shreveport.

However, we also wish to highlight and applaud the fact that the convention ended on a high note reflective of the cooperation all Republicans wish to see toward the mutual aim of defeating President Obama in the November general election.

Paul suspended his active campaign for president last month and instead focused supporters on collecting delegate spots for the national convention. His stated goal was to incorporate “Liberty” platform beliefs into the Republican Party.

He and his supporters have grabbed delegate spots in other states through events similar to the disruption in Louisiana, though many of those supporters will be bound to vote for Romney as the nominee on the initial ballot in Tampa.

REACTING TO JOBS FIGURES

On the NewsHour Friday night, Mark Shields said there’s no silver lining in the jobs numbers out Friday, not even a “chrome” one. He said if the economy does not start improving, “[I]t becomes a race about disqualifying, a campaign about disqualifying your opponent. And that’s not attractive or appealing. It’s not hope and change. It’s blood and guts.”

David Brooks agreed and said he can feel the president’s pain. “This is in large degree not his fault. Things are happening way beyond his control,” he said. “He’s sort of a victim of this myth that presidents control the economy quarter to quarter.”

They also weighed in on Donald Trump’s and Bill Clinton’s roles on the campaign trail.

Watch the segment here or below.

Christina talked with the guys in the weekly Doubleheader, filling in for Hari Sreenivasan. It was not her finest moment of sports knowledge. A few hours later, David’s beloved Mets made history with a no-hitter.

2012 LINE ITEMS

TOP TWEETS

OUTSIDE THE LINES

  • Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Mich., will retire from Congress instead of seek re-election after a major mishap with getting on the ballot. Last week he’d said he would run as a write-in, but Saturday he abandoned the effort altogether. (Don’t miss this great Shira Toeplitz profile of his odd bid for the presidency.)

  • Judy Woodruff wrote about the powerful images coming out of Syria.

  • Roll Call’s Abby Livingston spent last week in Arizona for the special election to replace Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ seat.

  • Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe has started announcing supporters of a likely 2013 gubernatorial bid. He lost the Democratic primary for the race in 2009.

  • Mr. Obama is endorsing Rep. Steve Rothman over Rep. Bill Pascrell in the Democrats’ redistricting-fueled member-vs.-member New Jersey primary Tuesday. Rothman was the lone New Jersey endorser for Mr. Obama in his 2008 fight against Hillary Clinton, the Post reports. Bill Clinton, by the way, is backing Pascrell.

  • The Boston Globe reports Monday that “e-mails between [Sen. Scott] Brown’s legislative director and US Treasury Department officials show that Brown advocated for a loose interpretation of the law so that banks could more easily engage in high-risk investments.”

  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel told supporters in an email the party had 100,000 grass-roots donors in May and on Thursday marked its “second biggest online fundraising day ever.”

  • Adam Nagourney writes about California’s cigarette tax referendum.

  • Public Policy Polling asked Michigan voters how they feel about local stars Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Eminem and Michael Moore. The poll found Kid Rock is the most popular of the bunch. Moore is least popular, “universally reviled by Republicans while Democrats like him but at a much more modest level.”

ON THE TRAIL

All events are listed in Eastern Time.

  • President Obama speaks at a fundraiser at a home in New York City at 5:20 p.m., speaks at a fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria at 8:25 p.m. and speaks at the New Amsterdam Theatre for a fundraising event with former President Bill Clinton at 9:35 p.m.

  • Vice President Biden delivers the commencement speech to Cypress Bay High School graduates at Marlins Park in Miami at 4 p.m.

  • Mitt Romney attends private fundraisers in Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

All future events can be found on our Political Calendar:


For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.

Follow the politics team on Twitter: @cbellantoni, @burlij, @elizsummers, @kpolantz, @indiefilmfan, @tiffanymullon and @dePeystah.