President Obama's re-election campaign has spent weeks trying to drive home the point that Massachusetts was at the back of the pack in job growth under Gov. Mitt Romney. Now, a new campaign TV ad touts a stat on which Romney's state surged to the front - per capita debt.
"Number One," a 30-second spot, claims Massachusetts debt grew $2.6 billion during Romney's tenure between 2003 and 2007 to $18 billion, or $4,153 per person, according to Moody's 2007 State Debt Medians cited in the ad.
"First in debt. Forty-seventh in job creation. That's Romney economics," the ad says.
The tag line encapsulates Democrats' argument against candidate Romney of 2012, discrediting his pitch for the presidency as an accomplished businessman and state chief executive by highlighting his record in office from less than a decade ago.
The ad will air in nine battleground states - Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia - as part of an ad campaign described by aides as a "significant buy."
Last week, the Obama campaign launched a $10 million ad blitz in the same states with its first TV spot focusing on Romney's job creation promises as a gubernatorial candidate in 2002 and claiming he had "one of the worst economic records in the country."
UPDATE: Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul called the new attack ad another "distortion and distraction" from President Obama's record.
"President Obama has overseen trillion-dollar deficits, soaring national debt and the first credit downgrade in history," she said in a statement. "Mitt Romney, on the other hand, closed a $3 billion budget shortfall, balanced four budgets, left a $2 billion rainy day fund and received a credit rating upgrade."