After weeks of attacks from President Obama and his Democratic allies, Mitt Romney is out with a new television ad defending his record as governor of Massachusetts.
The 30-second spot, called "Strong Leadership," claims Romney "had the best jobs record in a decade," reduced unemployment to "just 4.7 percent" and "balanced every budget without raising taxes."
And, in an obvious attempt to appeal to independents and swing voters, the ad notes, Romney "did it by bringing parties together to cut through gridlock."
The ad, which features footage of Romney talking to voters and speaking on stump, then shifts back to the theme of Romney's other general election TV ads, touting what he'd do on "day one" of his presidency.
"From day one as president, Mitt Romney's strong leadership will make all the difference on jobs," a voiceover declares.
The ad is sure to come under fire from the Obama campaign, which has argued that Romney is casting his Massachusetts record in a far too positive light.
They've argued that while Romney's record appears positive, Massachusetts' job growth was actually slower than the rest of the country at the time. And they've pointed out that Romney was required to balance the budget by state law and that he did so by raising state fees, which they've argued is the same thing as a tax increase.
The non-partisan group FactCheck.org analyzed Romney's jobs claim in an analysis last summer, concluding Massachusetts' unemployment was below the national average for his first three years in office. But in 2006, the last year of Romney's term as governor, the state's unemployment rate jumped to 5 percent—higher than the national rate—which the group concluded means the Massachusetts' growth was slower than other states.
By December 2006, Romney's final month in office, the rate was back down to 4.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—roughly equivalent to the national average.
Romney's campaign did not disclose how much it is spending to run the ad or where it will air. But it's likely to focus on swing states--including Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia--where Romney has already purchased millions of dollars in television air time over the last month.
A New York Times analysis of ad spending so far this campaign found the Romney and Obama campaigns have bombarded television market of modest size so far this campaign, concluding that 2012 may be the first election year where candidates are spending the most money to target the fewest people.