ABC News’ Tahman Bradley Reports: Hours before the release of Mitt Romney’s latest campaign commercial in which he pledges to reduce the size of government if elected, the presidential campaign of John McCain launched a preemptive assault on the former governor accusing him of misrepresenting his record on spending.
McCain spokesman Matt David tells ABC News that during Romney’s term as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the state saw a significant increase in spending.
"What Governor Romney’s tv ad fails to mention is that spending increased by 27 percent and taxes and fees increased by $700 million per year during his tenure in Massachusetts," David said.
"This ad demonstrates his willingness to say and do anything in an effort to win the nomination."
In the 30 second campaign spot which will begin airing in Iowa and New Hampshire on Wednesday, Romney does not claim that he reduced spending while in office but says he’s prepared to make cuts when he gets to Washington, a key ingredient of his campaign pitch to conservatives.
"We have an opportunity to really make a change in this country. Government is simply too big, state government is too big, the federal government is too big. They’re spending too much. I’m going to cut spending, " Romney says.
Romney’s spokesman Kevin Madden shot back Tuesday evening telling ABC News that the governor overcame huge budget challenges to make Massachusetts’ economy healthy.
"Governor Romney came into office facing a $3 billion deficit and an economy that was losing jobs, and he wiped away that deficit without raising taxes. When his tenure was finished the state economy was creating jobs."
And just for good measure Madden pointed out that John McCain has voted against every one of the Bush tax cuts.
This is the latest squabble between the two camps who have been increasingly engaging each other directly over the last few weeks.