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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / campaign 2012

Axelrod Stands by Bain Attacks

Obama campaign unveils new ad taking aim at Romney's record as governor.

David Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama's reelection campaign.(Richard A. Bloom)

photo of Naureen Khan
June 4, 2012

The Obama reelection campaign on Monday forged ahead with a new line of attack taking aim at Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor while insisting that their assault on his time at Bain Capital was warranted.

The campaign released a new ad that tries to knock down Romney’s claims of having been a “job creator” in Massachusetts by poking holes in his economic record as governor.  

In a conference call with reporters, senior adviser David Axelrod and other campaign officials did not, however, back away from the Bain attacks, which have portrayed Romney as a “corporate buyout specialist” and profit-monger. The message was undercut by some Obama surrogates and other Democrats who expressed squeamishness about attacking Romney’s business experience.  

 

“That was an important conversation to have,” Axelrod said. “Does the philosophy he had [at Bain], does that translate into job creation when you’re leading a government. It didn’t in Massachusetts and it won’t in this country.”

Axelrod noted that the latest ad would air in battleground states and cost $10 million, while the Bain ads, which aired in May, cost about $100,000.

Axelrod also accused the Romney campaign “breathtaking hypocrisy” for criticizing Obama's job creation record in his first year in office while arguing that Romney's first year as governor should be excluded from his overall jobs creation record.

“It’s breathtaking hypocrisy for them to say, ‘You really can’t include (Romney’s) first year because he took over at a tough time’,” he said. “That’s not the standard by which Gov. Romney has held this president.”

Romney campaign quickly fired back.

“Having abandoned ‘Hope and Change,’ the Obama campaign only ‘Hopes To Change The Subject’ from an abysmal jobs report,” Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said. “We’re happy to compare the 4.7 percent unemployment rate Mitt Romney achieved in Massachusetts to President Obama’s weak record any day.”

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