Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is shifting his economic focus to put the best face on his job-creation record as governor of Massachusetts.
"Only President Obama, who has failed to meet his own goal of 6 percent unemployment, would have the audacity to attack Mitt Romney's record of creating jobs," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Thursday morning. "We're happy to compare the 4.7 percent unemployment rate Mitt Romney achieved in Massachusetts to President Obama's weak record any day." The Romney campaign says his state's jobless rate fell from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent during his governorship. The national unemployment is about 8 percent, according to the government.
The jobs numbers of each side remain a subject of contention, with the Obama and Romney forces arguing that the opposition is distorting the figures.
But the latest Romney focus suggests that the former governor and his strategists have concluded that using the Massachusetts jobless rate of 4.7 percent makes his record look better than an endless argument over raw numbers of jobs created and how much Romney was responsible for them.
"President Obama not only doesn't understand the economy, he also opposes the free-market principles that built it," Saul added. "His policies have prevented businesses from growing, thriving, and creating jobs. If President Obama had his way, politicians and government bureacrats--not private-sector job creators and entrepreneurs--would make all the decisions. His idea of the free market is to hand out billions in taxpayer money to unproven companies like Solyndra--many of whom are tied to his political friends and donors--while using the power of regulation and taxation to punish private-sector job creators across the country."
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.