THE RACE: Massachusetts is campaign target again

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By TOM RAUM, Associated Press

Once again, Massachusetts is in the cross hairs of a presidential race.

The Obama campaign this week pounced on Mitt Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007 after first attacking his private-equity business career.

Obama strategist David Axelrod was in Boston, where Romney's campaign is headquartered, on Thursday to slam Romney's record as governor.

"Romney economics didn't work then and it won't work now," he told a gathering. At one point a group of Romney supporters drowned him out.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

The attacks reprise assaults lobbed earlier this year by Romney's Republican challengers, which were basically reruns of charges aired in 2008, the first time Romney ran for president.

Massachusetts has produced more than its share of presidential contenders.

Sen. John F. Kennedy, D-Mass., was elected president in 1960. Brother Robert Kennedy, who was raised in Massachusetts but later represented New York in the Senate, was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 when assassinated.

A third Kennedy brother, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., tried to wrest the Democratic nomination from President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Massachusetts-born George H.W. Bush attacked Massachusetts tax-and-spend liberals — his campaign called the state "Taxachusetts" — in his 1988 victory over Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Bush's oldest son, President George W. Bush, used some of the same arguments in 2004 re-election contest against Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, suggesting he was far left of most Americans.

The late Paul Tsongas, who also represented Massachusetts for a while in the Senate, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.

When Romney was elected in 2002, the state was in the midst of a deep recession.

Romney claims his policies helped end it. The Obama campaign claims he made things worse.

Sort of the same thing Romney is claiming Obama has done to the U.S. economy.

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